FunEmpire® Singapore Blog

20 Must-Try Conversation Starters Singapore Locals Love [2024]

Welcome to FunEmpire Singapore's Blog 👋

We’re committed to bringing you the best local group experiences and activities in Singapore for team building, celebrations and gatherings. Our editors adhere closely to our strict editorial guidelines to maintain the high quality and accuracy of each article. We only recommend what we love, and hope you love them too. Learn about our story.

Conversation Starters Singapore

Best Conversation Starters Singapore
Best Conversation Starters Singapore

In ethnically and historically diverse Singapore, it is never difficult to find suitable material for a good chat. 

Conversation starters are often employed in small talk, whether with family, friends, or partners.

 Singaporean conversation codes are the key to forging relationships. 

 If you’re looking for the best conversation starters in Singapore for 2024 and wondering what to start a conversation with in Singapore, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some of the best – and popular – conversation starters for Singaporeans that covers food, festivals, and more. 

Quick Summary

  • Bonding Through Sports and Activities: Create bonds by talking about the local sports scene, ideal date spots or shared interests. Sports or shared activities are great for simple reasons.
  • Reflecting on Relationship and Family Milestones: Discussing relationship milestones, family memories, and hopes for the future with friends and family members can strengthen bonds and enhance feelings of unity and gratitude.
  • Planning for Future Adventures: Dreaming together and planning future vacations as a couple or family is an adventure all unto itself. It helps foster anticipation and encourages shared plans and memories.

Selection Criteria

When curating this list of conversation openers, we adhered to a set of criteria designed to ensure that each topic is relevant, engaging, and genuinely reflective of Singapore’s unique culture. The selection criteria include:

  • Cultural Relevance: The water-cooler moment has to ring true with Singaporeans, and must reference something within our shared culture, tradition, or shared value system.
  • Inclusivity: Topics should be inclusive, appealing to at least half of Singapore’s population (given the heterogeneity of interest and backgrounds in the population). 
  • Potential for Engagement: The topics selected are likely to allow the participants to own the exercises and, if they so choose, share personal anecdotes, experiences and thoughts.
  • Current and Timeless Appeal: Although some conversation starters are tied to what’s in the news or topical, others have timeless appeal and will always be current. 
  • Variety: A mixture of subjects that might appeal to different social settings and temperaments, from the frivolous to the intellectual.

Understanding the Importance of Conversation Starters in Singapore

Cultural Context

 Singapore’s vibrant cultural melting pot, fused from Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western ways, gives clues as to which approaches to starting a conversation can easily connect with Singaporeans.

Cultural protocols and table manners can make or break the right moment to strike a rapport.

Social Significance

Oftentimes, a conversation starter gives confidence to many who want to break the ice. Finding the right words also leads to a fruitful conversation that opens doors to new friends and allies.

Whether at work, social gatherings, or casual encounters, mastering the art of conversation is key to navigating social interactions effectively.

Impact of Effective Communication

Effective communication can be the bridge that helps people from different backgrounds to understand each other better.

By using icebreakers for interesting conversations, we can remove the perceived cultural divide.

Best Conversation Starters Singapore

Small Talk Conversation Starters

Small Talk Conversation Starters
Small Talk Conversation Starters

Weather Observations

Why it’s good: As a universal topic of discussion, the weather definitely has the potential to be a great conversation starter. In Singapore, where the weather changes almost on a daily basis, mentioning the current conditions or discussing the forecast can open the door to relaxed, superficial small talk.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Well, it looks like we’re going to have another wet afternoon, don’t you think? Do you have an umbrella around here somewhere?”

Compliment on Local Cuisine

Why it’s good: Singaporeans are fiercely proud of their food culture. A compliment about a dish (or an expression of general delight at food in general) reflects good modelling of appreciation for the food of the city-state, forging a common sense of ‘we’.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Last night I had laksa at [local hawker centre] and it was amazing! Do you have any hawker dishes that you really like?”

Weekend Plans

Why it’s good: Talking about weekend plans is an organic way to learn about someone’s passions and pastimes – whether it’s a stroll through a new neighbourhood, a cultural event or just kicking back with loved ones, discussing the weekend’s plan can lead to discussions about shared interests that will help you bond.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Got any plans for the weekend? I’m thinking of going to the art show at the museum.”

Public Transportation Experiences

Why it’s good: The efficiency and reliability of Singapore’s public transport are noteworthy, and people recounting their commuting stories, favourite MRT lines or bus rides can share a quintessentially Singaporean experience or offer tips.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I felt like a sardine in a can this morning! The MRT was so crowded!”

Local Events and Festivals

Why it’s good: As one of the most eventful cities in the world, Singapore is dotted with festivals and events all year round, and talking about these upcoming cultural celebrations, music festivals or art exhibitions can be a great way to spark curiosity and engagement between people.

Sample Conversation Starter: “So, have you heard the news? There’s a gourmet street food festival downtown next week!”

Friends Conversation Starters

Friends Conversation Starters
Friends Conversation Starters

Favorite Hawker Center Dishes

Why it’s good: Food is one thing of nearly universal interest to friends here in Singapore. Whether sharing a stomping ground for a favourite dish in a hawker centre, or to recommend a local dish one has not yet tried, the ensuing conversation can be a healthy and fun exchange about eating adventures, passions and predilections.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I feel like having some chicken rice from [famous hawker centre]. Wanna go later for lunch?”

Recent Travel Experiences

Why it’s good: People often become friends through shared travel experiences and wanderlust. Bringing up a recent trip can spark nostalgia and revisit good times; discussing bucket list destinations can cultivate shared dreams of future travel.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I was just in Bali and it was great! Where do you want to go?”

Memorable Nightlife Experiences

Why it’s good: Singapore is a great place for clubbing, bar-hopping and generally experiencing nightlife. The process of sharing these stories with friends can be highly entertaining, as people reminisce about their favourite experiences.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Remember that hilarious night out in Clarke Quay last month? We need to do it again soon!”

Personal Hobbies and Interests

Why it’s good: Friends can have more interests in common and can talk about hobbies that are important to you. If your best friend is into sports, you might be as well.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I’ve been trying to learn photography. What do you like to do?”

Local Sports Teams

Why it’s good: Sport can be an excellent bonding experience between friends; chatting about your local football club, or analysing last weekend’s matches, or speculating on what’s going to happen in the next big match – all of that can create friendly banter which develops into good relationships.

Sample Conversation Starter: “The Lions played last night. What an exciting game! Which local team do you support?”

Couples Conversation Starters

Couples Conversation Starters
Couples Conversation Starters

Favorite Date Spots

Why it’s good: Taking dates together can serve as a shared goal and rite of passage for couples. Talking about favourite date experiences, romantic outings or dreamy date plans can trigger romantic and intimate communications and can serve as a way to cement relationships.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Do you recall the first time we went out? I vividly remember that spectacular evening we spent at [romantic restaurant], and I still think about it. Do you have any favourite spots?”

Future Travel Plans

Why it’s good: Going on vacations together is often a couple’s ‘dream’ and the sharing of future travel plans of any sort, whether it is a dream vacation, a far-flung trekking trip or even an annual jaunt, is usually a subject of excitement between partners. It also deepens one’s bond with the partner.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I’m thinking about our next holiday. Where do you think we should go next? I’d like to go [to your dream destination] with you.”

Shared Interests and Hobbies

Why it’s good: Couples enjoy many of the same activities together – from cooking to hiking to painting to dancing. Discussing the activities they share together can bring them closer and help them create memories together

Sample Conversation Starter: “I like the way we bond over hiking. When will we get to do it again? I’m missing the trails badly.”

Relationship Milestones

Why it’s good: hinking back to times of intimacy, your favourite dates and memories is an important way for couples to reconnect. Talking about the past, an anniversary, a fun experience or a project you’re planning will facilitate emotional closeness.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I can’t believe it’s been [number] years since we first met. I’m so grateful for all the wonderful memories we’ve created together.”

Love Languages

Why it’s good: Discussing your love language with your partner or loved one leads to better communication and increases emotional intimacy. It could be acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, or receiving gifts, but talking about your love language with your partner helps them understand and appreciate you more.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I’ve been reading about love languages lately. Which one do you think resonates with you the most? I want to make sure I’m showing you that I’m interested and that you’re important, so my communication matches up with your preferred way of receiving it.”

Family Conversation Starters

Family Conversation Starters
Family Conversation Starters

Childhood Memories

Why it’s good: Reliving nostalgic moments with family members is a great example of a wholesome human bonding experience. Sharing childhood memories, funny stories, share laughter, family traditions, or even memorable vacations are all great ways to bring laughter and bond with loved ones.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Dad, do you remember that time we went camping, and I (points to self) set fire to the tent? I’m still laughing about it!”

Family Recipes and Traditions

Why it’s good: Food and traditions can be the heart of a family dynamic, sharing family recipes, culinary traditions or a favourite meal among family members can create a sense of connectedness and memories for years to come.

Sample Conversation Starter: “I thought the other day about Grandma’s special recipe. I think we should recreate it for the next big family dinner. What do you think?”

Shared Family Values

Why it’s good: Talking about shared family values and beliefs enhances feelings of family togetherness and consensus. Whether it’s cultural traditions, ethical codes or life lessons, talking about values builds family bonds and reinforces a sense of family common ground.

Sample Conversation Starter: “If you could adopt one value from our parents, what would it be?”

Life Updates and Milestones

Why it’s good: Family members are typically pleased and proud of each other’s accomplishments and milestones. Sharing news of the family’s important life experiences or career achievements helps to strengthen the bonds of love and solidarity within the family and serves to support and encourage all family members.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Guess what? I got promoted at work! I was so pumped, I just had to tell you guys all about it.”

Family Adventures and Outings

Why it’s good: Going on family holidays and adventures create memories and family bonds that last a lifetime. Talking about trips you’ve taken, planning future trips, or recalling fun family vacations bring joyful nostalgia and foster family closeness and unity.

Sample Conversation Starter: “Do you remember that road trip we took to [location]? That was fun! We should get away with the family again sometime real soon.”

Conversation Starters Singapore

Shared interests, memorable events, and deep values layer upon each other as the bedrock of conversation – and, ultimately, of all of our relationships. 

 This kind of conversation improves the connection between you and your friends, romantic partners or family members.

 It is in these acts that relationships grow: in every laugh shared, memory retained, or dream envisioned, the individual and the communal become interwoven and uplifted. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have any questions about conversation starters in Singapore, you can refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Best Conversation Starters in Singapore below:

What are some funny conversation starters to use at a coffee shop?

A great question for conversation starter at a coffee shop could be, “If you were a type of coffee, what would you be and why?” It’s a fun question that can get the ball rolling and lead to further conversation to get to know about personal tastes and preferences.

How can I bring up the topic of the most embarrassing moment in a way that’s comfortable?

Ease into this question. Explain what your most embarrassing moment has been first.

By doing so, you show vulnerability by sharing your own experience, and you build trust with the person you’re conversing with. This makes it comfortable for them to share their own stories and experiences as well.

Good conversation starters for this question: “We all have those moments that we wish we never did. For instance, the most embarrassing thing I’ve done was [xyz].
Now I’m wondering: What’s the most embarrassing thing that you’ve done?”

This open-ended question can go in many directions, depending on the person’s response, but it’s guaranteed to get the ball rolling.

Can asking about hidden talents be a good conversation starter?

For sure. Asking people about their hidden talent is a very interesting conversation starter that will prompt the other person to share a unique feature of themselves.

Good conversation starters for hidden talent: “I was told that everyone has a talent and that it’s hidden from others. What’s your hidden talent?”

What are a few tips for avoiding awkward silences with open-ended questions?

When we’re in situations that require us to use conversation starters, such as networking events, we want to make sure to avoid awkward silence! Avoid asking yes or no questions in favour of open-ended ones.

For example, ‘What’s your favourite memory growing up?’ or ‘What’s your favourite food and why?’

These are great conversation starters because they prompt a good storytelling response, and they can guide the conversation further in many different directions.

How can I use the topic of favorite food as a conversation starter at networking events?

Food is a great equaliser. It’s something everyone has a taste for and is willing to discuss.

A great conversation starter for networking events can be:‘I’m looking to try new dishes. Name a food you like and tell me where’s the best place to get it?’

This question not only prompts an exchange of personal likes and experiences but also sparks conversation about places, making it a great conversation starter topic

What are some interesting conversation starters to use in real life situations?

Real-life situations, like meeting someone new in Singapore, are a bit harder than other scenarios.

When meeting someone for the first time, we want to make sure we’re choosing the right topics to get the conversation started.Some great conversation starters for real-life situations: ‘Tell me about your local experience. What’s your opinion of popular places here? For instance, I’m on a quest to find the best local food. Do you have any recommendations?’

Nice question to use because it’s engaging and can lead to a conversation about shared experiences.

How can I turn a casual chat into a meaningful conversation with potential best friends?

To make a casual conversation into a meaningful one, you’ll want to ensure you can shift the focus to more personal interests and experiences.

A great conversation starter for this: “If you could go on any adventure, name one that you’ve never been on but have always wanted to go on.”

This question is good to use because it can lead to sharing personal aspirations and dreams, which can make for a strong connection, making it a great conversation starter to use when considering potential new best friends.

Rachel Tan avatar

Article by

I'm currently the editor at FunEmpire Media. I've over 8 years of experience in the media industry discovering the best local businesses, places and things to do. From lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, education and more, I strive to curate the very best in Singapore.

Related Articles