Attend a nachspiel

The nachspiel, or the after party. Popular with Norwegian college kids but it’s something that all Norwegians embrace and enjoy. Along with such a strong drinking culture in Norway there’s also a saying that goes “getting half drunk is a waste of money”. That’s because alcohol is so expensive in Norway that once you start drinking you might as well go all the way, and then some. That’s when the nachspiel comes into play, because at some point even the bars must close.

At this point of the night it’s getting late, or early the following day, depending on how you look at it. It’s far too late to buy alcohol anywhere, so you head back to someone’s apartment to raid whatever is left there. Much to the neighbors’ dismay these parties can get rowdy and go on late even until sunrise.

This is the point of the night where things are best described as getting “sloppy” or borderline absurd. Everyone has had far too much to drink, and it’s all a bit last man or woman standing. If you’re a foreigner that probably won’t be you, as Norwegians have great stamina in the area of marathon drinking. If you’re lucky enough to make an early exit, try to sneak out quietly. Otherwise, you risk having to take a “penalty shot” for your early departure, one final shot of aquavit for the road.

The Basics of Nachspiel

The term “nachspiel” translates to “afterparty” in English, but it embodies more than just continuing the celebration. It is an integral part of Norwegian nightlife, offering a relaxed and intimate setting where people can unwind and connect. Nachspiel typically takes place in someone’s home, often the host’s or a friend’s, following a night out at bars, clubs, or other social venues.

Continuing the Conversation

Nachspiel is not solely about extending the night but also about continuing conversations that may have been interrupted by the noise and activity of the previous venue. It provides a quieter and more personal space for friends to catch up, share stories, and discuss various topics while enjoying each other’s company.

Norwegian Hospitality

Norwegian hospitality is a cornerstone of nachspiel. The host of the nachspiel is responsible for providing a warm and welcoming environment. This may include serving simple snacks or “nachspiel food,” which can range from chips and dip to more substantial offerings like sandwiches, pizza, or even homemade dishes.

Drinks and Music

Drinks play a central role in nachspiel, and participants often bring their favorite beverages to share. Beer, wine, and spirits are commonly consumed, and the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial. Music also plays an essential part, with hosts or guests selecting songs to create the desired ambiance, whether it’s for dancing or background tunes.

Cultural Significance

Nachspiel is not just a late-night gathering; it reflects elements of Norwegian culture and values. Here are some of the cultural aspects that nachspiel embodies:

1. Informality: Nachspiel is a casual and laid-back social event. It encourages personal connections, making it a perfect setting to forge and strengthen friendships.

2. Intimacy: In a quieter setting, people can have deeper conversations and establish more meaningful connections. Nachspiel promotes a sense of closeness and togetherness.

3. Sharing: Participants often share food and drinks, fostering a sense of community. It’s common for individuals to contribute something to the nachspiel, whether it’s a dish, a bottle of wine, or a playlist.

4. Enjoying the Moment: Nachspiel allows Norwegians to savor the night’s experiences, relive the highlights, and create new memories in a more relaxed atmosphere.

5. Work-Life Balance: The tradition of nachspiel emphasizes the importance of balancing work and social life. Norwegians value their downtime and use nachspiel as an opportunity to relax and unwind with friends.


Nachspiel is an inclusive tradition in Norway, where people from all walks of life are welcome to join. It is not limited to a specific age group, and you may find young adults, professionals, and even older individuals participating in this late-night social ritual.


Nachspiel is more than just an afterparty; it’s a reflection of Norwegian culture and values. It highlights the importance of forging personal connections, the enjoyment of informal and intimate settings, and the celebration of moments worth cherishing. This late-night tradition has stood the test of time, offering a unique and beloved social experience that continues to bring people together, making it a cherished part of the rich tapestry of Norwegian social life.

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