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Oostvaardersplassen Fighting Stags National Park Nieuw Land
Image from Paul Klaver

12 hours in New Land: man-made land and nature reserves

Spend the day exploring the incredible reclaimed landscapes and green polder scenery of New Land. Learn about the area’s watery past, shop at one of the country’s most prominent fashion outlets, and explore the nature reserves and countryside on two wheels - all in just 12 hours!

Learn about how New Land was reclaimed from the sea

Batavialand is a museum in Lelystad where you can find out how people built wooden sailing ships 400 years ago. Board the spectacular VOC ship the Batavia, dive into the history of Flevoland, and experience the stories of the pioneers.
Image from Koen Smilde

Discover the history of the reclamation of Flevoland, The Netherland's youngest province, through fascinating presentations and exhibitions at Batavialand and the Flevoland Museum. One of the jewels in the collection is the spectacular Flevowand, a 60-metre tapestry that took 25 embroiderers 14 years to make. It traces the area's history from the Ice Age to the 21st century. Next to the museum is a replica of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship, Batavia. You can take a guided tour and visit an inspiring exhibition.

Shop till you drop at Batavia Stad

Batavia Stad Amsterdam Fashion Outlet is a premium outlet centre home to more than 100 stores and inviting cafés and restaurants. Choose from international fashion brands such as Hugo Boss, Nike and Michael Kors, which offer 30-70% savings on high-street prices. Open 363 days per year, Batavia Stad’s boutiques have everything from fashion to perfumes, kitchenware and more, and several eateries.

Admire colossal outdoor artworks

A woman making a picture of Exposure Landart Lelystad
Image from Claire Droppert

For a pause, take a wander away from the stores and admire the outdoor artworks, including Antony Gormley’s massive Exposure sculpture that overlooks the water. Flevoland is home to the world’s most significant concentration of Land Art – huge artworks made in and as a response to the surrounding landscape. There are nine works in total. You can tour all works in a day if you’re travelling by car and guided tours take place all summer.

Tuck into a tasty lunch at the marina

The sprawling terrace of Grand Café Aan ut Water is perfect for larger groups, boasting 120 seats and spectacular views over the IJsselmeer. Situated directly on the harbour of the Flevo Marina, diners can soak up the nautical scenery as they tuck into a tasty lunch, dinner, high tea or simply afternoon beers. For more inspiration on where to eat, check out this guide to restaurants and bars in the area.

Spot incredible wildlife at unique nature reserves

Water and plants of the Oostevaardersplassen.
Image from koen smilde

If you have extra time, don’t miss Nationaal Park Nieuw Land, also known as the New Wilderness. This unique nature reserve comprises 56 square kilometres of protected marshlands and fields, home to various deer, cattle, birds and Konik horses. Nearby, you can discover endangered species and impressive wisents (bison) in the beautiful setting of Natuurpark Lelystad.

Explore on two wheels

A cyclist on De Knardijk. An inner dike that forms the border between eastern and southern Flevoland as a land divide.
Image from koen smilde

Both nature reserves feature an extensive system of cycling trails, and indeed the best way to see everything New Land has to offer in only a few hours is with a bike rental. The visitor centres provide information on tours and packages, and there’s a shop where you can rent bikes. Alternatively, check out these two cycle-seeing routes - one starting from Almere and the other from Lelystad - which cover the various highlights of New Land.

Stay overnight in a tree house

Don’t fancy leaving the area so soon? Buytenplaets Suydersee in Lelystad is the place to be for those looking for peace and lots of space in a natural environment. You can camp here, but sleeping spaces are exceptionally creative: spend the night in a safari tent, a wagon, a sewer pipe, a sea container or up high between the treetops in a tree house. Take a look at this accommodation guide for more tips on where to spend the night in New Land.

Check out these 4 and 24-hour guides for more inspiration on how to make the most of your time in the New Land region.