43 Best Conversation Starters in German

Conversation Starter

“How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice!”

You’re not a big fan of stupid jokes or lame pickup lines, are you? Well, me neither.

But it’s not always easy to start a conversation with a stranger, is it? Especially when you’re supposed to do it in German.

Imagine you’re in Germany or another German-speaking country and your new colleagues have invited you to their party.

For quite a while, you’ve been standing there with a glass in your hand but nothing to say. Are you starting to feel bored or stupid?

Well, you’ve got two options now.

You can either leave the party or break the ice with one of the German conversation starters presented in this article.

If I were you, I would go for the second option.

What are some good conversation starters in German?

Depending on the situation, you may choose between the following German icebreakers:

1. Getting to know each other

The easiest way to start a conversation is by introducing yourself and asking for your partner’s name, job, origin, studies, etc.

Here’s the informal (du) and formal (Sie) way of doing it: 

🇩🇪 Wie heißt du? Wie heißen Sie?
🇺🇸 What’s your name?

🇩🇪 Wo wohnst du? Wo wohnen Sie?
🇺🇸 Where do you live?

🇩🇪 Woher kommst du? Woher kommen Sie?
🇺🇸 Where are you from?

🇩🇪 Was studierst du? Was studieren Sie?
🇺🇸 What do you study?

🇩🇪 Was ist dein Beruf? Was ist Ihr Beruf?
🇺🇸 What do you do for a living?

2. Partying or Flirting

You’re at a club and have just seen the girl or boy of your dreams. 

No idea what to say?

Then you may want to try one of these German conversation starters: 

🇩🇪 Tolle Party, oder?
🇺🇸 What a great party, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Die Musik ist voll laut!
🇺🇸 The music is so loud!

🇩🇪 Woher kennst du das Geburtstagskind?
🇺🇸 How do you know the birthday boy / the birthday girl?

🇩🇪 Der DJ ist spitze!
🇺🇸 The DJ is excellent!

🇩🇪 Möchtest du tanzen?
🇺🇸 Would you like to dance?

🇩🇪 Hast du ein Feuerzeug?
🇺🇸 Do you have a lighter?

🇩🇪🇩🇪 Möchtest du etwas trinken?
🇺🇸 Can I get you something to drink?

🇩🇪 Bist du auf Instagram?
🇺🇸 Do you have an Instagram account?

🇩🇪 Kann ich deine Telefonnummer haben?
🇺🇸 May I have your phone number? 

I don’t recommend starting with the last question. 

It’d be better to get them a drink first. If you’re not sure about ordering a drink in German, this article might be helpful.

3. Food talk at dinner parties

The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. 

That’s why talking about food is always a good idea, especially at lunch or dinner parties.

Here are some helpful questions and phrases:

🇩🇪 Das Essen schmeckt ausgezeichnet, oder?
🇺🇸 The food is delicious, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Wie heißt dieses Gericht?
🇺🇸 What’s this dish called?

🇩🇪 Ist da Fleisch drinnen?
🇺🇸 Does it have any meat in it?

🇩🇪 Gibt es auch etwas Vegetarisches?
🇺🇸 Are there any vegetarian dishes?

🇩🇪 Könnte ich bitte das Salz haben?
🇺🇸 Can you pass me the salt, please?

🇩🇪 Das habe ich noch nie gegessen. Wie heißt das?
🇺🇸 I’ve never eaten this. What’s it called?

🇩🇪 Die Soße ist ganz schön scharf, oder?
🇺🇸 The dip is really spicy, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Das Hähnchen sieht echt lecker aus!
🇺🇸 The chicken looks delicious!

🇩🇪 Hast du schon den Salat probiert? Er ist echt lecker.
🇺🇸 Have you tried the salad? It’s delicious.

If you’re a lover of delicious food, you may want to check out our article on German Phrases for Restaurants.

4. Talking about the weather

What do English and German people have in common? They just love talking about the weather!

Even if your German isn’t great yet, the following phrases will always help you out:

🇩🇪 Schönes Wetter heute, oder?
🇺🇸 The weather’s fantastic today, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Es scheint endlich wieder die Sonne!
🇺🇸 The sun has finally come out!

🇩🇪 Heute hat es eine angenehme Temperatur.
🇺🇸 It’s a pleasant temperature today.

🇩🇪 Keine einzige Wolke zu sehen!
🇺🇸 No clouds to be seen in the sky!

I can only speak for Austrian people, but one thing we enjoy even more is complaining about the weather. 

It’s either too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry … 

If you want to join in, here are some ideas:

🇩🇪 Puh! Heute ist es echt heiß!
🇺🇸 Ugh! It’s scorching today!

🇩🇪 Es hat bestimmt über dreißig Grad!
🇺🇸 It must be over 30 degrees!

🇩🇪 Es ist heute richtig schwül, oder?
🇺🇸 It’s really humid today, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Etwas Regen wäre toll.
🇺🇸 It would be great if it rained a little.

🇩🇪 Es regnet/schneit schon wieder!
🇺🇸 It’s raining/snowing again!

🇩🇪 Es ist eiskalt draußen, oder?
🇺🇸 It’s freezing outside, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Es hat bestimmt Minusgrade.
🇺🇸 It must be below zero.

🇩🇪 Es ist sehr glatt heute!
🇺🇸 It’s very slippery today!

You’d better watch your step!

5. Sports talk

Football talk is always welcome, especially in Germany and Belgium. 

Check out how to break the ice with this topic:

🇩🇪 Fußball ist sehr beliebt in eurem Land, oder?
🇺🇸 You play a lot of football in your country, don’t you?

🇩🇪 Was ist momentan die beste Fußballmannschaft?
🇺🇸 What’s the best football team at the moment?

🇩🇪 Wer ist derzeit der beste Fußballspieler?
🇺🇸 Who’s the best football player at the moment?

🇩🇪 Gibt es am Wochenende ein interessantes Spiel?
🇺🇸 Are there any good matches this weekend?

🇩🇪 Hast du das Spiel zwischen … und … gesehen?
🇺🇸 Have you seen the game between … and …?

🇩🇪 Spielst du gerne Fußball?
🇺🇸 Do you like playing football?

In Austria, Switzerland and Southern Germany you may prefer to talk about winter sports:

🇩🇪 Skifahren ist sehr beliebt in eurem Land, oder?
Skiing is very popular in your country, isn’t it?

🇩🇪 Wer ist derzeit der bester Schifahrer/ die beste Schifahrerin?
🇺🇸 Who’s the best skier at the moment?

🇩🇪 Gibt es tolle Schigebiete in dieser Gegend?
🇺🇸 Are there any great skiing resorts in this area?

🇩🇪 Fährst du oft Ski?
🇺🇸 Do you often go skiing?

🇩🇪 Ich würde es gerne mal ausprobieren.
🇺🇸 I’d love to try it one day.

See? Starting a conversation in German isn’t as hard as it seems, as long as you steer away from controversial topics and stupid pickup lines. 

If you don’t want to get trapped in a boring conversation for hours, it might also be good to know how to say goodbye in German.

Bis bald!

Photo by Armin Rimoldi from Pexels

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Sandra Foessl

Sandra Foessl

Language lover and bookworm. Lives in Austria and has been teaching English, French and German for more than a decade.

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