Travel: Describing Places ESL LEsson

In this high-beginner to intermediate-level ESL lesson, you will learn grammar, vocabulary, and phrases to talk about everyday English topics: an English conversation lesson for describing places that you like and dislike traveling to.

This ESL lesson also comes with a downloadable PDF you can access when you are a member of Pocket Passport.

This ESL video lesson for daily English will help ESL students learn vocabulary, grammar, improve listening and be confident English speakers.

Practical English for everyday situations. Learn about how to Give advice and use it to talk about and recommend places to go. Also check out Travel Experiences

Describing Places

Warm Up Questions


Do you like to travel to busy places?


Do you mind big crowds of people?


What things are most and least important to you when you travel?


Do you like to experience the culture when you travel? In what ways?


Are you interested in history and historical places?


Do you like to talk to and get to know local people when you travel?

Watch, Read or Listen

ESL Video on Describing Places

Watch the following ESL YouTube video lesson about describing places.

Listening Questions

Watch the YouTube video and answer the following questions on Describing Places.


In the first part of the passage, what two holiday destinations are mentioned?


What is the article about?


What places does Aya like best?


According to Aya, why are busy places best?


What places does Kane prefer?


What kind of cities does Kane really hate?


What kind of places does Kimber like?


Why doesn’t she like crowded places?

ESL Speaking Activity

Use the illustrations to talk about the passage, your travel experiences, and preferences.

Describing Places

Describing Places ESL

Describing Places ESL Lesson

Describing Adventure Places

Describing Tourist Places ESL

Word Bank

Word Bank

personally | convenience | crowded | cultural
culturally-important | detest | historical | ideally
insight | modern | prefer | quality | scenery
similar | speed | stay | taste | tourist


Match the words on the left with the meanings on the right.

1. detest (v)

A. a chance to understand something

2. crowded (adj)

B. designed and made using the most recent ideas and methods

3. heart of the city (idiom)

C. to like better or best

4. insight (n)

D. costing a lot of money

5. prefer (v)

E. a personal preference or liking

6. daily (adv)

F. in the center of the place

7. taste (n)

G. not safe; able or likely to cause harm

8. dangerous (adj)

H. full of people; not much room to move

9. expensive (adj)

I. happening or relating to every day

10. modern (adj)

J. dislike very much

Statue of Liberty
Pisa Tower


Discuss the following quotes about travel.


Once a year go somewhere you have never been before.

– Dalai Lama


On vacation, I totally unplug. I don’t bring a laptop with me.

– Will Wright


People should look for accessible vacation destinations the same way they look for any other vacation destination – based on their own personal tastes and preferences.

– Candy B Harrington


Read a lot when you’re on vacation, but nothing that has to do with your business.

– H. Jackson Brown, Jr


The best thing about a vacation is the countdown to the vacation.

– Unknown


One of the biggest challenges about going on vacation is planning the trip.

– Paul Brodie


Discuss the following questions about holiday preferences.

  1. What do you like or dislike about traveling with friends and/or family?
  2. What do you like or dislike about the beach? City?
  3. What’s the best way to experience the culture of a city/country?
  4. Have you ever been anywhere dangerous? Is there anywhere that you want to go that might be considered dangerous?
  5. Do you take your laptop with you when you travel? Phone? How do you disconnect?

In Your Own Words

Explain what the word or phrase in bold means and give an example.

Example: She was exhausted because she worked until midnight.
Meaning: very tired - I’m exhausted because I stayed up and studied all night.

No WiFi


I love to visit busy places that are in the heart of the city.

Meaning /


Ideally, I'd also like to be somewhere with beautiful scenery to enjoy.

Meaning /


I detest cities that are really dirty.

Meaning /


I'd also like to be somewhere with beautiful scenery.

Meaning /


I don’t like crowded places because there are always long lines.

Meaning /

Missing Words

Watch the video again and complete the sentences.

Describing Something

Where do you like to go on holiday? We all have different _____________ 1. Some people prefer sunny beach holidays with other people preferring more _______________ 2 city tours. In this month’s travel section, we are discussing which kinds of places our readers most like to visit on their ______________ 3.

Aya T.

“Personally, I love to visit busy places that are in the _________________ 4. I like to feel the culture of a new place. I think it’s worth experiencing busy cities because they give you an _______________ 5 into true daily life in that country.” 

Kane H.

“I prefer to visit quiet places because I want to _____________ 6 when I go on holiday. ______________,7 I’d also like to be somewhere with beautiful scenery to enjoy. I don’t like places with lots of tourists. I also detest cities that are really dirty.” 

Kimber P.

“I like to visit historical, ____________________ 8 places, but I often find they are a little expensive. I would like to stay somewhere that also has some _______________ 9 conveniences, such as quality internet speeds. I don’t like to visit crowded places because I think they can be _________________ 10.”

What style of holiday is most similar to yours? Let us know in the comments!


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