Practice Listening English Exercises for A2 – Touring a City

Getting Ready

What do you do when you visit a new city? Check (✓) your answers and compare them with a partner.

visit museums

visit churches or temples

take a bus tour

try local food

go to the zoo

buy souvenirs

go shopping

attend local cultural events

other: ____________

Show answers

your own answers

Listening 1

People are visiting a city. Where are they? Listen and number the pictures.

img

Show answers & Transcript

A 3   B 2   C 6   D 4   E 1   F 5

Transcript

1

This is very unusual, isn’t it? It’s by a very famous artist. Nowadays, his works sell for over $25,000 each. But I really don’t understand how anybody would want to spend that much money on something like this. Do you?

2

It’s okay. She’s quite friendly. She probably just wants something to eat. I’m sure she loves those peanuts in your bag.

3

This is the best way to see the city, isn’t it? You can see everything in a day just by sitting and looking through the window. I always do this the first day I visit a new place.

4

Oh, you have to try some of these. They are really delicious. They’re so sweet. They grow them very near here.

5

This is an interesting old place. It was built over 200 years ago. It used to be the home of a very rich man. He lived here by himself until he died. Then his family gave it to the city so that now everyone can enjoy it.

6

I have to get some of these. I see them in all the souvenir shops. They’re really amazing. And they’re cheap, too. I think I’ll take some back as gifts for friends at school.

Listening 2

Task 1

Tour guides are describing some of the things people will see or do on a bus tour. Listen and circle the correct answers.

1   a take pictures of the stars’ houses

b see Marilyn Monroe’s house

     c see Joe DiMaggio’s house

     d see James Dean’s house

     e see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house

2   a go to the Empire State Building

b visit the Statue of Liberty

     c take a taxi uptown

     d have a picnic in Central Park

     e go ice skating at Rockefeller Center

3   a hike in the mountains

b visit a market

     c eat food at the market

     d go inside a temple

     e touch the statues

4   a see a cemetery

b go to a museum

     c visit a famous person’s grave

     d go to the museum shop

     e go to an open-air market

Show answers

1 b, d   2 a, d   3 b, e   4 a, c, e

Task 2

Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Check (✓) the correct answer.

True

False

1 People can take pictures of the stars’ houses.

2 People can buy a photo of the ice rink.

3 People can buy many kinds of souvenirs.

4 People can’t take pictures of the graves.

Show answers & Transcript

1 False   2 True   3 True   4 False

Transcript

1

Good afternoon, and welcome to Hollywood, California. I hope you all enjoy today’s tour of the houses of the stars. Here we go! Now remember, you can buy photos of all the stars’ houses when the tour is over, so please don’t take any pictures during the tour, okay? Up on the left is the gorgeous mansion where Marilyn Monroe lived. After she got married, she left this house and moved to New York to live with her husband, a famous American baseball player named Joe Di Maggio. Now, just around the corner you’ll see a bright yellow house. Can you see it? Up on the hill? This is where James Dean lived. Finally, do you see that big iron gate on the right? Well, this is the entrance to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house. Unfortunately, you can’t see the house from here, and we’re not allowed to go inside the gate.

2

We’re starting our tour by going up the tallest building in New York City: the Empire State Building. You can see the whole city from the top of this building. While you’re up there, don’t forget to look at the Statue of Liberty through the telescope, since we don’t visit it on this tour. Next, we’ll take the bus uptown to beautiful Central Park. I know the bus doesn’t sound very glamorous, but I promise you, it’s just as fast as taking a taxi. When we get to Central Park, we’ll visit the petting zoo and have a picnic lunch. Finally, we’ll walk to another famous place: Rockefeller Center. In the winter, people go there to ice skate on the famous outdoor rink. Of course, there won’t be any ice on a hot summer day like today, but there’s a very nice photograph of the rink for sale at the gift shop.

3

Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal! As you all know, the country of Nepal has some really tall mountains, including the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest. But here in the capital city, Kathmandu, the mountains are almost always covered by clouds. So I’m afraid we probably won’t be seeing Mt. Everest today. However, we are going to visit an exciting market in the center of town where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, including beautiful wool sweaters at really great prices. As we go through the market, though, please don’t eat any of the food offered to you on the street. It looks delicious, but it might not be healthy. After visiting the market, we’ll take a taxi to Pashupati Temple. This is one of the most important temples for the people of India and Nepal. Unfortunately, because we do not belong to their religion, we won’t be able to go inside the temple. We can still look and touch the beautiful statues outside it, though!

4

Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina! This morning, I am going to introduce to you many of Buenos Aires’ famous sites. And after our tour, you will be free to explore the city on your own.

First, we are going to visit the parks and gardens of the Recoleta neighborhood. Here, we will get off the bus and walk around to enjoy this beautiful area close up. We will also stop at the Recoleta Cemetery, where many of Argentina’s famous people are buried. We’ll visit the grave of Eva Peron, Argentina’s first lady from 1946 to 1952. Feel free to take photos of the famous graves.

Next, we’ll make a stop at the Latin American Art Museum in the Palermo neighborhood. Here, you will see many excellent examples of Latin American art from the 19th and 20th centuries. We won’t have time to visit the museum gift shop, though, but we will be visiting an open-air market, where you will be able to find many locally made items.

Listening 3

Task 1

People are talking about the tours they took. What was good or bad about each tour? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.

1

Good

Not good

the itinerary

the guide

the food

the price


2

Good

Not good

the itinerary

the guide

the food

the price


3

Good

Not good

the itinerary

the guide

the food

the price


4

Good

Not good

the itinerary

the guide

the food

the price

Show answers

good: the food, the price

 not good: the itinerary, the guide

good: the itinerary, the guide, the price

 not good: the food

good: the itinerary, the guide

 not good: the food, the price

good: the guide, the food, the price

 not good: the itinerary

Task 2

Listen again. Would each person recommend the tour? Check (✓) the correct answer.

1 yes

no

2 yes

no

3 yes

no

4 yes

no

Show answers & Transcript

1 no   2 yes   3 yes   4 no

Transcript

1

A: Have you taken a tour since you’ve been here?

B: Yes, I went on one last weekend.

A: What was it like?

B: Well, we didn’t see a lot. We mainly went to a lot of shops. I would’ve preferred to see more of the museums and famous buildings. I’m not really interested in shopping. And the bus they took us in was so old and slow. They should put it in the museum!

A: Really! Did you say anything to the guide about it?

B: Well the problem was, he didn’t speak English very well. And he wasn’t really very friendly.

A: That’s too bad!

B: But we did have a nice lunch on the tour, and the whole tour was very cheap, so it wasn’t all bad. But I don’t think it was worth the time or the money, even though it was cheap.

2

A: What was your city tour like?

B:  Well, we saw lots of interesting places on the tour. I was totally exhausted at the end of it, but I’m really glad I took it. You should try it.

A: Did you go by bus?

B:  Yes, we had a nice, comfortable bus, and a very helpful guide. You know how some guides talk all the time. This one didn’t. He gave us just enough information, but not too much.

A: Where did they take you for lunch?

B: Oh, some dirty little place near the center of town. I didn’t eat much because the food didn’t look very good to me.

A: That’s too bad. Was the tour expensive?

B: No. Not at all. It was very reasonable.

3

A: Did you just get back from the tour?

B: Yeah. It was really good. We visited all the places of interest. I’m glad we took it.

A: Did you take a bus or a van?

B: We took a bus. There were only 15 of us in it, so we had lots of room. It was a new clean one, so it was pretty comfortable.

A: Did you have a guide?

B: Oh, yes. She was great. A student, I think. She really knew her stuff.

A: How was lunch?

B: Awful! We just had some fast food along the way.

A: How much was the tour?

B: Well, it was pretty expensive. That was the only problem. $150! I think they should’ve charged us about $75. But anyway, I think it’s definitely worth doing this tour.

4

A: So how was the tour?

B: It was disappointing, actually.

A: That’s too bad.

B: Yeah, we didn’t get to see very much. It was too short. I wanted to see a lot more.

A: Really?

B: It wasn’t very comfortable either. The bus wasn’t air conditioned, so it got very hot and stuffy after a while.

A: Uh-huh.

B: Anyway the guide was very helpful. He gave us some very interesting information and told a lot of jokes, so that was fun. And we had a really good lunch at the seafood restaurant.

A: So was the tour worth it?

B: Well, it was only $35, which is pretty reasonable. But if you want to take a tour, you should try a different tour company.

Conversation Corner: Describing a city

Task 1

Listen to the conversation. Write the missing words.

A: What did you see on your tour?

B: We first saw the Grant House. It’s ______ ______ building in the city.

A: Nice. What else did you see?

B: Then we visited the park. It’s one of the ______ ______ ______ in the country. After that, we went to the top of the mountain.

A:  Oh, I bet the view was great. Isn’t that one of the ______ ______ in the state?

B:  Yes. Actually, it’s the ______ ______ in the country. The view ________

Task 2

Practice the conversation with a partner. Be sure to reduce -est in the superlatives.

Show answers & Transcript

A: What did you see on your tour?

B: We first saw the Grant House. It’s the oldest building in the city.

A: Nice. What else did you see?

B: Then we visited the park. It’s one of the biggest city parks in the country. After that, we went to the top of the mountain.

A:  Oh, I bet the view was great. Isn’t that one of the tallest mountains in the state?

B:  Yes. Actually, it’s the highest mountain in the country. The view was fantastic .