In this pre-advanced vocabulary lesson about Tourism, you will learn about common places to visit, verbs and idioms related to travel, and adjectives to describe different types of places. Check the pictures below and read the definitions and sentence examples to enhance your tourism-related vocabulary.
Places to go
1 Tourist attractions are places such as monuments, famous buildings, and museums that are popular among visiting tourists. Tourist attractions are often crowded because many people want to see them.
- There are many tourist attractions in my city.
2 A seafront is a coastal part of a town or city that faces the sea. People often walk along the seafront so they can look out to sea. Many seafronts have cafes facing them where one can sit and admire the view.
- We walked along the seafront, looking out at the rough sea.
3 Backstreets are narrow streets behind the busy main streets, often in a poorer area of town. They are usually quieter than main streets as they don’t contain many shops and are therefore not usually used by tourists.
- It was quiet in the backstreets as there wasn’t much to see.
4 Amusement parks are outdoor areas where people can enjoy rides, games, and other forms of entertainment. Many are only open at certain times of the year, as they are not usually equipped to deal with bad weather.
- We had a great day at the amusement park, playing games and going on rides.
5 Ruins are the remains of buildings, cities, or monuments that are in a state of disrepair.
- We visited the ruins of a medieval castle.
6 Hiking trails are paths through mountains or forest areas that are marked out for walkers. Hiking trails can vary in length, with some stretching hundreds of kilometres.
- We followed a hiking trail through the forest.
7 Food markets are covered outdoor areas with many different vendors selling various types of food. People enjoy visiting food markets and sampling the different types of food.
- We tasted some great cheeses when we visited the food market.
8 Nature reserves are parks, forests, or other outdoor areas that are managed to protect their plants and wildlife. Many people visit nature reserves to enjoy the flowers, trees, and views.
- We spent the afternoon wandering around the nature reserve.
9 A crafts fair is an event where people gather to showcase and sell handmade items, often including artwork, jewelry, pottery, and other unique crafts.
- We bought some beautiful handmade gifts at a crafts fair.
Verbs and idioms
1 If you go off track, you go away from the popular tourist routes. Many tourists often go off track to get a more authentic taste of a place.
- I prefer going off track to following the normal tourist routes.
2 To make a reservation means to book something ahead of time. People often make reservations at restaurants to ensure that they get a table.
- I made a reservation at a popular local restaurant.
3 To chill out means to relax and take it easy. You can chill out at home by relaxing on the sofa, but you can also chill out on holiday sitting on a beach or in a bar. Unwind is similar to chilling out. When you unwind, you relax and forget about work and the stresses of daily life.
- We spent the afternoon chilling out by the pool.
- It took me a few days before I was able to unwind and enjoy the holiday.
4 To stroll means to walk at a leisurely pace, with no particular aim. You can through the streets of a town, taking in the buildings and sights, or you can stroll down a country lane and enjoy the natural surroundings.
- After dinner, we like to stroll along the beach and enjoy the sunset.
5 If you hit the shops, you go shopping, usually for clothes, presents, or souvenirs. People often hit the shops when on holiday to buy things that they can’t get at home.
- I plan to hit the shops and buy some new sandals.
6 To sample the local cuisine means to taste the food of the area that you’re visiting. Many tourists enjoy sampling the local cuisine in markets or local restaurants.
- I love sampling the local cuisine and tasting new flavours when I travel.
7 If you pack your bags, you put your clothes and belongings in a suitcase or rucksack. People pack their bags when preparing to go on or return from a trip or holiday.
- It didn’t take me long to pack my bags.
8 To take a detour means to take a different route to a place in order to avoid something or save time. People often take detours because of traffic, road closures, or building work.
- There was a lot of traffic on the main road, so we took a detour.
9 We use the verb form go on before nouns related to travel, trips or similar, such as holiday, trip, journey, excursion, tour, cruise, safari, etc.
- He went on a cruise with his family.
- Let’s go on an excursion to explore the area.
Adjectives to describe places
1 Unspoilt or unspoiled means in its natural state, not ruined or changed by humans. We are more likely to describe the countryside as unspoilt than we are a city or town.
- The scenery near our hotel was delightfully unspoilt.
2 Remote is a word we use to describe a place that is isolated and far from transport links. Remote areas are usually unspoilt because very few people visit them.
- The cottage was in a remote area with few amenities nearby.
3 Off the beaten track means away from areas and attractions that are usually visited by tourists. Many people like to find somewhere off the beaten track because they are seeking peace and relaxation.
- I enjoy venturing off the beaten track and visiting less touristy destinations.
4 If a place is touristy, it’s not very nice because it’s full of tourists and things for tourists to buy or do. Areas with monuments, galleries, and famous buildings are usually very touristy.
- We stayed in a touristy area, full of hotels, restaurants and attractions.
5 Picturesque and 6 breathtaking are both words that we use to describe a place or view that is very attractive. Picturesque means beautiful, like a scene from a picture or postcard, whereas breathtaking means so beautiful that it takes your breath away.
- The picturesque scenery near our cabin is something I will never forget.
- When I reached the top, I was greeted by breathtaking views of the entire valley below.
7 Something or somewhere that is overrated is said to be better than it actually is. Restaurants are often described as overrated when the food is not as good as you expected it to be.
- That bar is definitely overrated; it was expensive and disappointing.
8 Vibrant or lively means full of life, so a city or place that is vibrant or lively usually has many things going on and lots of things to do.
- It’s such a vibrant town, with many things to see and do.
- We stayed in a lively part of town with an awesome nightlife scene.
9 Exotic means exciting or unusual because it comes from or is characteristic of a different place. We can describe a place as exotic, but we can also use the word to describe food, music, or people too.
- There were plenty of exotic spices wafting for sale at the food market.