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A nature lover’s paradise
Its ‘locals’ include not just residents of the feathered kind but wild varieties of deer, cattle, foxes, hares and Konik ponies. If you don’t have your own professional equipment, stop by De Oostvaarder, the official visitor centre. As well as a café with a panoramic view, there’s an exhibition, video room and viewing areas with telescopes looking out across the park.
A unique landscape to discover
Oostvaardersplassen’s vast, magnificent fields, reed plains, rough grasslands and water courses are worth the journey alone, and it’s the perfect place to explore on foot or by bike. A great way to discover more about the unique habitat is to take one of the guided nature tours with a ranger. Along the way you can see huge herds of cows grazing on the grasslands, groups of wild ponies roaming the landscape and hundreds of birds soaring in the skies (as well as the chance to spot some birds of prey – including rare sea eagles). It's worth noting that some parts of Oostvaardersplassen are only accessible on guided tours. There’s also opportunities for fishing trips, lessons on how to survive in the wilderness and even some water sports.
How to start your Oostvaardersplassen adventure
De Oostvaarder, the official visitor centre, is a great starting point for any trip to Oostvaardersplassen. From there you can embark on various hiking and cycling routes, numerous excursions and other activities. There’s also a restaurant with awe-inspiring views of the land from the terrace, an information library, shop, film and meeting room. While at the Oostvaarders Nature Observation Center - on the other side of the reserve - you can learn about the land and its diverse wildlife, while panorama rooms offers telescopes and binoculars for guests to use. On weekends the centre also hosts nature activities, lectures, musical performances and workshops.
How to get there
To get to Oostvaarders Nature Observation Center, take a short train journey from Amsterdam Centraal to Almere Oostvaarders, and from there it's around a 25 minute walk to the centre. Alternatively, get the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Lelystad Centrum (around 40 minutes), and from there it's only a short bike ride to De Oostvaarder. You can rent an OV rental bike from the station in Lelystad.
To make the most of your day exploring, take advantage of the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, which offers unlimited travel on buses, trams, trains and metros in the Amsterdam Area for 24 hours for just €18.50.