See awe-inspiring modern architecture

Almere house amsterdam areaAs a relatively new city, Almere was once a blank slate on which architects could make their mark – and they have. The city now boasts incredible buildings and monuments by world-famous architects all within one square kilometre of each other. Take a walking or cycling route through the city to check out The Wave, a massive structure that mimics the motion of the water; the Rainbow District, where the homes bring a colourful brightness to the city; and dozens of private homes in unique designs.

Experience incredible outdoor artworks

Land art flevolandFlevoland is home to the world’s biggest concentration of Land Art – huge artworks made in, with and as a response to the surrounding landscape. There are nine works by artists including Anthony Gormley, Daniel Libeskind and Richard Serra. The pieces vary greatly: some refer directly to the surrounding nature and the (short) history of the land they’re in, while others are inspired precisely by how untouched and fresh the landscape is. Best of all, you can see them all in one day on a guided tour or on your own with a car!

Shop for your favourite brands

Batavia Stad A shoppers’ paradise, Batavia Stad is a lakeside fashion outlet mall in the city of Lelystad that offers more than 250 fashion brands, cafés and restaurants. Bargain hunters flock here from around the country to stock up on clothing and discounted goods. Open 363 days per year, Batavia Stad’s boutiques have everything from fashion to perfumes, kitchenware and more, and several eateries. For a breather, take a wander away from the stores and admire the outdoor artworks, including Antony Gormley’s massive Exposure sculpture that overlooks the water.

Spot wild animals

Oostvaardersplassen CC BY-SA 2.0 edwin hoek via FlickrThe best-known nature reserve in New Land is Nationaal Park Nieuw Land. One of the main areas in this wild (although man-made) expanse is the Oostvaardersplassen where square kilometres of protected marshlands and fields serve as a migration area for birds. As such, it’s an amazing spot for a hike or a day of birdwatching. Its ‘locals’ include not just birds, but wild varieties of deer, cattle, foxes, hares and Konik ponies. Take a hike or bike ride to spot these wild animals on your own, or take advantage of the many activities offered by the reserve, such as stargazing and ‘golden hour’ safaris.

Relax and dream away at a spa

Refresh your body and soul at Thermen La Mer, an exclusive day spa with a variety of contemporary sauna and wellness facilities. Close your eyes and dream away your day in the Finnish Kelo saunas, swimming pool or hot tub. Take a stroll around the Mediterranean garden or indulge in tasty – and healthy – dishes at the restaurant. Located in Almere, Amsterdam’s newest city, the spa allows you to truly immerse yourself in luxury and pleasure – if only for one day.

Conquer the sea aboard a replica ship

Batavialand ship cannonsAt Batavialand in Lelystad, ships with an important maritime history are taken from oblivion and returned to their former glory. The first show-stopper is the reconstruction of the 17th-century VOC ship Batavia, and it is joined by other vessels in full 17th-century glory. The shipyard is also a great place to see craftsmanship of yesteryear in action, and visitors can even get involved by testing their knot-tying skills or climbing the masts.

Feel all the thrills at Cablepark Almere

Wakeboarding in AlmereCalling all (water-based) thrill-seekers! Spend a day whizzing around the Weerwater lake on water skis or a wakeboard, aided by a kilometre-long cable track that allows users to reach speeds of up to 30km/ph at Cablepark Almere. Experienced water sporters can make the most of the various obstacles on the course to try out tricks, while beginners can get acquainted with the sports on the dedicated training track. All equipment required to hit the water is available for hire. After working up an appetite, grab a seat on the restaurant terrace and take in the tremendous views of the Almere skyline.

Get in touch with nature

Oostvaardersplassen CC BY-SA 2.0 edwin hoek via FlickrDiscover endangered species and impressive wisents (bison) in the beautiful setting of Natuurpark Lelystad, an important link in the circle of wildlife. The nature park features an extensive system of hiking and cycling trails and several picnic areas. The visitor centre offers information on tours and packages, and there’s a shop where you can rent bikes. They will provide you with all the information you need about Natuurpark Lelystad and other stunning nature reserves, such as Lepelaarplassen.

Hoist the sails

Markermeer AmsterdamDid you know that Almere boasts over 42 kilometres of coastline? Or that it has the largest catamaran beach in all of Europe? The lengthy coastline is sprinkled with beautiful beaches where you can relax or swim to your heart’s content. For the more adventurous, Batavia beach is the ideal location for flyboarding and surfing. Many of Almere’s beaches feature restaurants and cafés serving refreshments, and most of them have public toilet facilities and showers.