If you’re visiting Munich for Oktoberfest, you are bound to certain wardrobe expectations. Guys are urged to bare their hairy legs in lederhosen, and women are encouraged to look like pretty Alpine dolls in their dirndl—accentuated waists and bosoms especially appreciated. As much as I wanted to pack a bodice and apron in our trip to Munich and incorporate them in my travel wardrobe, I simply couldn’t make it work. Outside the context of a beer garden, I simply looked like a waitress out of work. So instead, I took inspiration from the city of Munich itself—to be specific, from its most famous iconic feature: the twin green domes of Frauenkirche.
And although I’m not a beer drinker, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to buy a bier stein. The word stein literally translates to ‘stone’ in German, which is the material of which traditional Bavarian beer mugs are made. There are countless options everywhere in the city as they come in all shapes, designs, sizes, and prices. The very small mugs (3 inches tall) that are mostly meant for display can cost €5. The actual usable drinking mugs range from €30 to €60. And the large accent pieces that can hold litres upon litres of beer, are much more expensive.
We found the best designs and prices outside Munich, in a small village en route to the castles. So although it will be hard to resist, I recommend holding off from shopping until you’ve seen the selection outside Munich. My husband and I bought one each—both with built-in lids. The lids were apparently added to the original mug design to keep flies out. For us, they’re absolutely perfect to keep hot tea warm for hours.
When the occasion is right, I’m certain we’ll be using them as well for the golden brew they were meant to hold and protect. Until then, every sip of tea from our stein will remind us of our amazing trip to Munich.