1. See the awe-inspiring modern architecture of Almere
As a relatively new city, Almere was once a blank slate on which architects could make their mark – and they have. What that means is the city now boasts incredible buildings and monuments. In fact, a visit to Almere is a real must-see for architecture fans, but its remarkable buildings ensure that anyone can appreciate the city’s exceptional structures. In Almere’s city centre, buildings of world-famous architects are 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.
Take our walking tour to discover all of Almere’s architectural gems.
2. Take an outdoor art tour
Flevoland 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!
3. Shop for your favourites at 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 that range from a Subway to the delightful Chocolate Company Café for lunch. 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.
4. Spot wild animals at National Park Nieuw Land
The 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, which neighbours the eastern boundary of Almere. Its 56 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.
5. Have adventures at De Kemphaan
Venture out into the forest and discover a wealth of family fun in Almere. De Kemphaan (website in Dutch) is a nature area in the southern district of the city known as Almere Hout. Although easily accessible from Almere Centrum train station (less than 20 minutes by bike or bus), you’ll leave the city’s glass and concrete behind to discover a tranquil, green oasis that’s ideal for relaxation or play. Stop off at Buitencentrum Almeerderhout before heading out on a walk through the forest. There’s also a city farm that hosts a weekly farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, the Almere Jungle (a small zoo), the Klimbos Fun Forest playground for kids, two restaurants, holiday accommodation and a campsite.
6. Test your survival skills
Give your family the adventure of a lifetime at Outdoor Park SEC Survivals, where dozens of different challenges are waiting for you and the kids. Try the Family Survival package, which takes you through an obstacle course and over a jungle bridge, or try the Family Expedition Outdoor, where you can split your family in teams to compete against each other. With this outdoor park, you can finally discover which member of the family has the best survival skills.
7. Relax and dream away at Thermen La Mer
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.
8. Conquer the sea aboard a replica ship
At 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 Golden Age 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.
9. Learn about New Land’s history at a former island
The first place to be named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Netherlands, Schokland is truly unique: it was once an island in the Zuiderzee, but it is now surrounded by land rather than water. Tour the Museum Schokland, which delves into the history of the area, or attend an intimate afternoon concert in the 19th-century museum church.
10. Explore the world’s largest polder
A hundred years ago, Flevoland was nothing but water. The Netherlands’ youngest province was drained from the sea in the first half of the last century and officially founded in 1986. It’s home to modern cities Almere and Lelystad, which blend modern architecture with futuristic urban planning, all while embracing the water and nature right on their doorstep. Taking a day to explore the land by bike, car or public transport is well worth it.
11. Get in touch with nature
Almere is a young city renowned for its dazzling modern architecture and innovative residential solutions but it’s no concrete jungle. Green landscaping, trees and waterways have always played a key role in the city’s neighbourhoods, connecting residential life with nature. But there are many more ways for visitors of all ages to get in touch with the natural world in Almere: discover the wildlife areas, city parks and petting zoos, all easily accessible from the heart of the city.