Cue Card # 7: Describe a foreign city where you have visited

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 7

Describe a foreign city where you have visited.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • how long you stayed there
  • why you went there

and explain your experience of visiting this city.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Last year, I had been to Guangzhou in the southern part of China and stayed there for about a week. This is a beautiful city located in Guangdong province. I would like to thank you for this nice cue card topic.

To be more specific, I went to this city in November 2017 and stayed there for exactly eight days in total. I went to China to attend a professional seminar and then visited one of my aunts who lives in Guangzhou. It was so beautiful a city that I decided to extend my visit and ended up staying more than a week though my initial plan was to be there two to three days at most.

Just after I reached the ultra-modern airport in Guangzhou, I got the impression of a modern city that was quite vibrant and spectacular. I took a taxi and it took me an hour or so to reach my aunt’s house. During this time, I got a glimpse of a modern yet organised city. The tall buildings, neon lights, brightly lit digital advertisements and passing cars make it more like a place I have seen in a movie.

Guangzhou is a big city where more than 7 million people reside in. My first impression of this city was that ‘it is a busy city’. In the city centre, high-rise buildings and shops take up all the space available.

During my visit to the city, I had been to Chimelong Safari Park, Huacheng Square, Guangzhou Library, Shamian Island and Sun Yat-sen University and I stayed at my aunt’s house.

Guangzhou has a sub-tropical climate and I enjoyed the weather during my visit to the city. People are warm and friendly and Cantonese is the primary language they speak. I tested a few local food items including dim sum, Shao Wei, shrimp wonton noodle soup and steamed rice with fresh shrimp in lotus leaves.

Being in a new city often gives us a chance to understand the cultural diversity the world has, especially if the city us in a different country and Guangzhou was worth visiting a city from this perspective. Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that I enjoyed my time in Guangzhou very much and I will never forget my memory of this city. Who knows, maybe I will visit my aunt again and spend some memorable time in this city again!

Model Answer 2:
Thank you for choosing this topic for me. So far, I have managed to visit only a couple of foreign cities (hope to visit some more in the future though), and today, I would like to pick one which I have recently visited.

The city, I want to talk about, is called “Phuket”, which is located in Thailand. Located in the southeast of Phuket Island and also considered to be the largest one in Thailand, Phuket city is the capital of Phuket province. It is also one of the oldest cities in Thailand.

Anyway, after arriving in Thailand on a 4-day business trip for my employer, I had no plan to visit the city of Phuket, or for that matter any other cities outside of Bangkok, mainly because I was there on a rather tight schedule. In other words, I needed to finish my business trip (actually attending a meeting of a regional cosmetic association on behalf of my company) and return to my home country as soon as possible. But, unfortunately, the meeting was postponed for two days, and so I had no other option but to wait for that 2 extra days.

Of course, I had no intention to waste those two extra days in vain except, of course, I wasn’t too sure about where to go or what to do. But, the manager at my hotel, where I was staying, helped me big time and suggested that I fly to Phuket, apparently because, according to him, Phuket was a very nice vacation spot. So, I flew there the next day, and after spending a whole day in that city, I had no doubt that the hotel manager was right.

Anyway, to explain my experience of Phuket, I think, it is a very lively town with lots of older buildings which indicate its former prosperity and rich history. Besides, its world-class sea beaches with beautiful turquoise-coloured water and lush green nature would surely give a person a mood lift even on his or her worst days.

Vocabulary related to Travelling:

Roam: Moving around here and there aimlessly without any destination or particular purpose in mind.
Fly: Travel by air.
Trek: Any long and comparatively difficult trip or journey.
Globetrotter: A person who travels extensively and quite often.
Book (a flight): To book mean to reserve.
Accommodation: A place to sleep and stay at night.
Jet lag: Jet lag is a feeling of being tired due to travelling because your body and mind are used to different time zone.
Sightseeing: To visit around and look around.
Hitchhiking: When you are travelling casually and put your thumbs up to get a ride from a stranger!
Bucket List: A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die.
To embark: To get on the boat.
To disembark: To get off the boat.
Affordable travel: Travel that does not costs much.
Budget travel: Budget travel is cost-conscious and price-aware travel/ keeping expenses low.
Holiday destination: A popular place where people like to spend their holiday.
Take to the road: To travel.
Get around: To travel to many different places.
Far-off destination: A distant place.
Guided tour: A tour in which a trained person guides a group of tourists.

Vocabulary related to a City:

Stunning: Amazingly beautiful.
Ancient: Old and historic.
Bustling: A crowded and busy place.
Stunning landscape: A beautiful countryside.
Contemporary: Modern.
Breathtaking view: Very beautiful view.
Places of interest: Memorable and interesting places.
In the middle of nowhere: A place that is far away from where people live or gather.
Cosmopolitan: A place that is rich in varied cultures, people and languages.
Lively/ Vibrant: A place where a lot of things are going on.
Picturesque: Unique and unusually charming and beautiful.
Enchanting: Delightful.
Homey: Cozy and inviting.
Unspoiled: Untouched and unaltered by men and civilisation.
Bleak/Gloomy/Somber: somewhat sad and dull.
Deserted: Abandoned, uninhabited.
Contaminated: Polluted.
Mystical/ Enigmatic: Magiacal.


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