Describe a City in an Essay: Tips

Describe a City in an Essay: Tips

Professors tend to assign all kinds of topics, and the simplest might turn to be the toughest bones to chew. If your home assignment is “Describe Your Favorite City” or something of the sorts, you would probably feel at a loss on how to structure and present such a paper. How can you describe something so vast that has so many aspects? This is probably why your professors wants you to tackle this obstacle. It is better to choose one strategy and stick to it, because the answer is, there is no wrong way to write such an essay, as it is your description. Here are a few ways how to do it, you may choose the one that speaks to you personally.

City Landscape

Your Impression

There is nothing more vivid and eye-catching, original and on point than your own perception of a city. What kind of impression did you get from your visit? What kind of image did you have in mind from doing your research? You an be overwhelmed by the noises in the big city, or entranced by the picturesque valleys that surround it. You can feel most welcome by its tiny bay and port, or disgusted by the rubbished piled up in the street alleys. Your impression counts the most, and is what your professor wants to hear from you.


Historical events leave a trace on any city. There would be no Rome without the Colosseum, no Paris without the Eiffel Tower, no London without the Big Ben. History leaves a prominent trace not only in the architecture, but also in people’s hearts and minds, it can influence your worldview. For example, Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam could not leave anyone unimpressed or bored. It is a piece of history that lives forever and signifies a whole other dimension of time that we get to see and understand. Nagasaki and Hiroshima were bombed, Hong Kong was colonized, Cyprus’s capital Nicosia is still divided in half between two countries – there is no escape from history.


Let us focus on something that we all like. You could try an original approach and speak about food. Every city has its own signature dish, or even a few. It could be just a part of national cuisine, but every city has something special to offer. If we talk about New York, its signature dishes would be bagels, cheesecake, baked pretzels. Describe the process of how they are made, some top destinations to try these foods, and their taste if you have eaten them before. You can even draw some parallels between the food and the nature of the city: New Yorkers love to eat cheese cake because they are stressed from overworking. There is no wrong way to analyze the facts.

Street Food

Public Places

The city grows around places like the cinema and the barber shop. If you would like to describe a smaller city, like your hometown, think about the way these public places have influenced the citizens. A good example would be the book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg, as a city and a whole historical period is described through the citizens that come by the café, where their stories unfold and the characters get to live their lives. Think about the public places that you like most, like the park, the playground, the candies shop. You can put together the puzzle of a city through them. You can even write a fictional city, if you like. For more inspiration look through this article.

Natural Beauty

Even though the landscape of cities becomes more and more urbanized, you cannot escape nature. You can view the buildings in the city as muscles, and nature as the veins that pump the blood. Are there any rivers or lakes? What role do parks play in the city? How about the sea or the mountains, are they far away?

City Park


Focus on the inhabitants of the city: from humans to animals. You can focus on the communities that this city has, all the melting pot of people from all kinds of backgrounds that constitute a city. Or, if it is a small town that shares people with the same background, on the peculiarities of that background. There is always a lot to consider when it comes to ethnicity and race. There might be a lot of immigrants in your city. How did they influence your city’s structure? Moreover, some cities are closely connected to the famous people who had lived there. As for the animals, you can encounter foxes in London, for example. Every city has a lot of various birds, stray cats, dogs or else. Describe the city through their eyes.

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