Describing your Town in Spanish: Adjectives and Directions

¿Cómo es tu ciudad? In order to answer this question, you need to know a little about places in your town, some adjectives and the basics about directions. In this lesson, we will review the vocabulary for places in town in Spanish and ways to ask and give directions too. More importantly, we will teach you how to use common adjectives for describing your town in Spanish. We have included some conversations with people talking about their towns, particularly about the places and things that make their town special. Let’s start…

Introductory video: Places in town in Spanish and descriptions

We will begin by watching a short video showing some common places in town in Spanish through several pictures and explaining how to use adjectives to describe cities or towns in Spanish. This video includes 18 different names of places in Spanish, the adjectives that you can also use for describing your town in Spanish and ask what a place is like. At the end of the video, you will find a town description in Spanish using everything that is explained in the video. Make sure to stick until the end of the video as it will certainly help you understand the rest of the lesson.

Talking about directions of common places in town in Spanish

Before learning how to describe your town in Spanish, we will review some vocabulary and how to give directions of common places in town in Spanish. If you already know this, then just skip this part and go to the next part of the lesson. It is common to use the verbs QUEDAR, ESTAR and HABER to give directions following the structure 

Place + ESTAR/QUEDAR (conjugated)+ preposition of place + place of reference

HABER will used in its form HAY meaning “there is/there are” in Spanish. A simple direction would look like any of these three sentences: “La farmacia está junto al hospital/La farmacia queda junto al hospital/Hay una farmacia junto al hospital”. For the distance between places, you can use the word CUADRA just the way BLOCK is used in English. Moreover, you can also use other units of measurement like “metros, varas, kilómetros, millas, etc.”. All of this is covered with more details in our previous lesson. Listen to these two conversations and identify some of the places in town in Spanish presented in the video plus the different ways to say directions.

Vicente: Alika ¿Dónde queda el mercado?
Alika: El mercado queda detrás del hotel Arcos
Vicente: Quiero comprar algunas frutas ¿Crees que encuentre?
Alika: Yo creo que sí. También hay un supermercado a tres cuadras de la escuela Libertad por si necesitas comprar algo más
Vicente: Gracias Alika. Me voy entonces…
Conversation translation: Looking for a market in Spanish
Vicente: Alika, Where is the market?
Alika: The market is behind the Arcos Hotel.
Vicente: I want to buy some fruits. Do you think I can find them there?
Alika: I think so. There is a supermarket three blocks from the Libertad school if you need to buy something else
Vicente: Thanks Alika! Then I’m leaving …
Vicente: ¿Quieres ir a cenar a un restaurante?
Alika: Si claro ¿A cuál vamos?
Vicente: Hay un restaurante muy bueno a 4 cuadras al norte del museo. Dicen que la comida es deliciosa
Alika: Aja… creo que también la cafetería Gema queda cerca del museo.
Vicente: Mi plan es ir al restaurante a cenar, luego pasar por el museo y quedarnos un rato en el parque platicando ¿Te parece?
Alika: Me parece un buen plan… Vámonos entonces.
Conversation translation: Going out!
Vicente: Do you want to go to dinner at a restaurant?
Alika: Of course, which are we going to?
Vicente: There is a very good restaurant 4 blocks north of the museum. They say the food is delicious
Alika: uhmm… I think Gema café is near the museum too.
Vicente: My plan is to go to the restaurant for dinner, then go to the museum and stay a while talking in the park. What do you think?
Alika: Sounds like a plan … Let’s go then.

Describing your town in Spanish: SER + common adjectives

As it was mentioned in the video, information questions such as “¿Cómo es tu pueblo?” and “¿Cómo es tu ciudad?” can be used to ask what’s a town like in Spanish. Another way to ask is using the question “¿Cómo es el lugar donde vives?” (what’s the place where you live like?). Sometimes, people may also ask “¿Cuáles son los lugares famosos de tu ciudad?” and that is why know the names of some places in town in Spanish is really important. Normally, people will also describe places in Spanish too and give directions at the same time, e.g. “Este parque es bonito. Queda frente a este museo“.

For the purpose of describing your town in Spanish, you can use verbs like SER (to be), LUCIR (look like) and TENER (to have). You could use many different adjectives to describe your town in Spanish and places around it. However, some of the most common adjectives for places are: BONITO (beautiful), GRANDE (big), PEQUEÑO (small), FAMOSO (famous), MODERNO (modern), ANTIGUO (ancient), PINTORESCO (Picturesque), POPULAR (popular), LLENO DE TRADICIONES (full of traditions), ACOGEDOR (cozy), LLENO DE GENTE (crowded), INTERESANTE (interesting). Make sure to use the right form of the verb SER when talking about places and describing your town in Spanish, just like in the picture below.

Describing your town in Spanish and places around the city
Los lugares en la ciudad y las descripciones

Read and listen to a conversation between two friends describing cities in Spanish and their most significant places as well. Check the translation if necessary and find how they used these phrases and adjectives.

Alika: Vicente ¿Cómo es tu ciudad?
Vicente: Vaya… que te digo… Es una ciudad pequeña pero muy bonita y segura. La ciudad es muy pintoresca, moderna y está llena de gente amigable. ¿Ya has ido a mi ciudad?
Alika: No he ido aún, pero he escuchado que es un lugar agradable y famoso por su comida.
Vicente: Es cierto. Hay muchos restaurantes famosos en la ciudad, además de un museo histórico y muchos otros lugares turísticos. ¿Cómo es el lugar donde vives tú Alika?
Alika: Es una ciudad grande así que hay muchos lugares incluyendo varias estaciones de buses, gasolineras, tiendas y librerías… La oficina de correos es famosa porque fue la primera del país.
Vicente: Vaya ¿Es una ciudad segura?
Alika: Si es segura pero debes ser cuidadoso siempre. La estación de policía de la ciudad queda cerca del hospital. Vicente: Bien, creo que voy a visitar tu ciudad y tú tienes que visitar la mía
Alika: ¡Trato hecho!
Conversation translation: Describing your town in Spanish
Alika: Vicente. What’s your town like?
Vicente: Well … what can I say… It is a small but very nice and safe city. The town is very picturesque, modern and full of friendly people. Have you been to my city?
Alika: I have not gone yet, but I heard it’s a nice place and famous for its food.
Vicente: It’s true. There are many famous restaurants in the city as well as a historical museum and many other sights. How is it where you live Alika?
Alika: It’s a big city so there are many places including several bus stations, gas stations, shops and bookstores… The post office is famous because it was the first in the country.
Vicente: I see…Is it a safe city?
Alika: If is safe but you must be careful always. The police station of the city is near the hospital.
Vicente: Well, I think I’m going to visit your city and you have to visit mine
Alika: Deal!

Listening Activity: Finding places and describing my town in Spanish

Listen to two friends talking about places in a city and describing their towns in Spanish too. This conversation includes some of the vocabulary, expressions and questions presented throughout the lesson, so if you already checked them it will be easy to understand.

Key expressions in the conversation:
Mira means “Look…”
Si giramos a la derecha… means “If we turn right
Será facil acostumbrarte a… means “It will be easy to get used to…”

Listening Quiz: Describing your town in Spanish

This short quiz will test if you understood what the conversation is about. Listen again and then choose the right answer for each question. You will get a tip every time you find the proper answer for the question. Press START when you are ready.
Start
Congratulations - you have completed Listening Quiz: Describing your town in Spanish.You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
End
Return
Conversation script: Describing my town in Spanish
Alika: Vicente ¿Qué estás haciendo?
Vicente: Estoy usando Google maps para conocer mejor la ciudad
Alika: ¡Que interesante! Todavía no sabes dónde están los lugares importantes ¿verdad?
Vicente: No… mira Alika, esta es la farmacia de la esquina… el hospital está a dos cuadras al sur de la farmacia y si giramos a la derecha y caminamos tres cuadras más llegamos al parque.
Alika: Mira, aquí están el museo y la biblioteca que te mostré ayer. Esta es la cafetería en la que desayunamos…
Vicente: Es cierto. Busquemos la oficina de correos… uhmmm… mira, queda junto a la estación de buses ¡Qué conveniente!
Alika: Veo que será fácil acostumbrarte a la ciudad… por cierto, ¿Cómo es tu pueblo?
Vicente: Vaya… que te digo… Es un lugar pequeño pero muy pintoresco. Es una ciudad llena de tradiciones, con edificios antiguos y con mucha gente amigable…
Alika: ¿Hay buenos lugares para comer ahí?
Vicente: Claro, mi ciudad es famosa por sus buenos restaurantes y por ser un lugar seguro
Alika: ¿Por qué no me muestras los lugares más importantes de tu pueblo con la aplicación?
Vicente: Claro, me parece muy buena idea

Listening Activity No.2: Completing a town description in Spanish

Listen to someone talking about the place where he lives in Spanish and then solve the quiz with the information in the recording.

Listening quiz: Describing my town in Spanish - Describiendo mi ciudad

Listen to the audio and choose a word or phrase from the given choices to fill in the gaps in each sentence – Escribe las palabras que faltan.

Writing practice: Describing your town in Spanish

Take a look at the examples provided in the lesson and use these examples to write a paragraph describing your town in Spanish. Talk about the most important places around town, what makes them special and how to get to those places. We hope you found this lesson very useful. Thanks for joining us! Leave us a comment if you have a doubt or suggestions. ¡Hasta pronto!


2 Comments

  1. Hola. Es excelente el sitio. Sólo tengo una sugerencia: los audios serían mucho mejores SIN música de fondo. Así deja escuchar mejor las palabras, sobre todo para personas que tienen problemas para escuchar. ¡Gracias!

    1. Muchas gracias por la sugerencia. Tenemos planeado revisar los audios de cada lección para asegurarnos que la música no interfiera con el contenido de las grabaciones.

Leave a comment - Déjanos un comentario