We happen to have a some legit YA fiction fans on staff at Dwellable (one who has a particular affinity for John Green books, I might add). I mean, who doesn’t? Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? If not, do you live under a rock? Because you probably should. Okay, that was a little harsh. I apologize. But, seriously, jump on the bandwagon, kids!
With August 3rd quickly approaching, we wanted to post something fun on the Dwellable blog to celebrate Esther Day—if you don’t know, now you know—so without further ado, we give you the The Fault in our Stars Amsterdam city guide.
Okay, well maybe there’s a bit more ado to be done: Even though the movie has come and pretty much gone now, we aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Hazel and Augustus just yet. We still haven’t gotten enough of TFIOS and the trip guides that the book has inspired, so we were compelled to go ahead and make our own, complete with an easy-to-follow tour of all the spots that Hazel and Augustus hit up on their Dutch odyssey (and one they didn’t). Bonus? WE MADE A MAP!
Side note: Shailene Woodley, do you wanna be pals? You seem cool, and I heard you don’t like cell phones. Me neither. Except when I’m playing Candy Crush.
First, let’s go shopping!
Visit REDBUBBLE to pick up Hazel’s Ceci n'est pas une pipe t-shirt and then scoot on over Converse to get a spanking new pair of Chuck Taylors. Okay, now we’re ready. On second thought, put on some pants first. Preferably of the dark denim variety, but we’re not that picky.
Here is the map. Take a second to get acquainted. I don't know why both C and D are green. That was dumb:
Now that you've put on your pants, hopped a flight to Amsterdam and grabbed a taxi...
A) Check into the Hotel Filosoof, technically called the Sandton Hotel de Filosoof, and unpack your bags. From the hotel website, it doesn’t look like any of the rooms are actually called Kierkegaard, but that’s what paper and masking tape are for, right?
Sandton Hotel de Filosoof
B) After you've gotten settled, take a stroll through the The Vondelpark, and grab a cup of coffee or do some jumping jacks (if that's more your thing) to ward off jetlag. This trip is way too cool to sleep through.
Photo by Barbara Walsh Photography, licensed under CC BY 2.0
C) It must be getting close to dinner time now, and your eating schedule is probably all thrown off, so head on over to the Oranje Café. It's not the real restaurant from the book, but it’s an easy 10-minute walk from the hotel and faces the canal just like the The Oranjee Restaurant does.
D) After a good night's rest, it's time to do a casual walk-by of vondelstraat 158. And I do mean casual: let's keep the creeper eyes to a minimum since Peter Van Houten is a fictitious author, and some normal person will probably be sitting inside trying to eat breakfast when you sidle on by.
Vondelstraat 158, Amsterdam
E) The Anne Frank House. This spot on the tour speaks for itself, both for its historical importance and its importance to Hazel and Augustus's love story.
Rijksmuseum. Photo by Voytikof, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5
F) If you have time, make sure to stop by the Rijksmuseum. Hazel and Augustus never actually made it to the Museum of the Netherlands, but Augustus had wished that they could have and that someday Hazel would get to go, so let's just say we owe it to them to put it on the itinerary.
G) With your trip winding down, make one quick stop before you hit the airport. We were going to advise you to swing by the café in the Shadow the Dutch National Film Museum where Augustus and Hazel met Hazel’s mom for lunch (It’s really the Filmmuseum Vondelpark Amsterdam), but Yelp has just informed me that Café Vertigo is now closed. Sounds like you might have to settle for one of the other three cafés in the Vondelpark. We hear they're great. Okay, that was a lie. We have no idea.
So, now you’re on the plane again, heading home, hopefully sipping a glass of champagne, dreaming of your next travel adventure and probably re-reading your perfectly worn copy of The Fault in Our Stars. Because, I mean really, when is John Green’s next book coming out? We’re getting really antsy over here.
And if by some chance, you are not on a plane returning from Amsterdam, then call up a friend or your mom or your dad or even your annoying brother, and let them know you love them. It’s not that hard, and it really IS the best way to honor Esther Earl’s memory.
If you want to do more, visit This Star Won’t Go Out, and see how you can get involved.