General openers asking where things are and directions:
You don’t need a magic bullet to get a conversation rolling. If you are traveling in a Spanish speaking country a natural way to open a conversation is to ask for directions or a recommendation:
Can you help me with some directions?
¿Me puedes ayudar con unas ubicaciones?
¿meh pweh-dehs ah-yoo-dahr-meh kohn oo-nahs oo-bee-kah-see-ohn-ehs?
Where is _____?
Is _____ [near/far]?
Whereabouts is _____?
How do I get to _____?
How far is _____?
What’s there _____ around here?
¿Qué hay de _____ por acá?
¿kEH igh de _____ pohr ah-kAH?
What do you recommend _____ around here?
¿Qué recomiendas _____ por acá?
¿kEH reh-koh-mee-ehn-dahs _____ pohr ah-kAH?
to do at night
Where’s a _____ around here?
¿Dónde hay _____ por acá?
¿dOHn-deh eh-stah _____ pohr ah-kAH?
Can you recommend a _____ around here?
¿Puedes recomendarme _____ por acá?
¿Pweh-dehs reh-koh-mehn-dahr-meh _____ pohr ah-kAH?
(good) dance club / disco
(good) internet cafe
Meeting Spanish speaking locals in bars and clubs
Here are a few openers you can use in any bars or clubs in a Spanish speaking country to strike up a conversation. These are casual conversation starters you can use to get some small talk going. In most cases it’s better to start with these kind of questions instead of personal questions right away. They work well for someone you find attractive or if you just want to hang out with some locals.
What’s the best national beer from this country?
¿Cual es la mejor cerveza nacional de este país?
¿kwahl ehs lah meh-hohr sehr-veh-sah nah-see-oh-nahl deh ehs-teh pah-EEs?
What are the local drinks from this country?
¿Cuales son los tragos nativos de este país?
¿kwah-lehs sohn lohs trah-gohs nah-tee-vohs deh ehs-teh pah-EEs?
What kind of drinks are popular here?
¿Qué tipo de tragos son populares aquí?
¿kEH tee-poh deh trah-gohs sohn poh-poo-lah-rehs ah-kEE?
Is this music popular around here?
¿Es esta música popular por aquí?
¿ehs ehs-tah MOO-see-kah poh-poo-lahr pohr ak-EE?
The above are good ways to start a conversation since you’re showing interest in their country and what makes it different from others. Most people enjoy talking about things that are unique from their country. Below are some bland, general questions you can also ask:
Are there other places like this around here?
¿Hay otros lugares así por aquí?
¿igh oh-trohs loo-gahr-ehs ah-SEE pohr ah-KEE?
What time does this place close?
¿A qué hora cierra este lugar?
¿ah KAY oh-rah see-ehr-ah ehs-teh loo-gahr?
Where’s the bathroom here?
¿Donde queda el baño por aquí?
¿dohn-deh kay-dah ehl bah-nyoh pohr ah-KEE?
To get the most out of your time spent traveling in other countries you want to mix with the locals. If you’ve met some cool people or have met someone you’re attracted to and want to hang out with them you can ask them to have a drink with you:
Let’s have a drink.
Vamos a tomar un trago.
vah-mohs ah toh-mahr oo-n trah-goh.