Almere is a young city with a short but extraordinary history. The city is situated centrally in the Netherlands, with a shore line of 42 kilometers, beautiful nature, impressive architecture, and many events.
Cycling alongside the famous nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen and modern architecture in the city center combined with a drink on one of the many terraces is the recipe for a perfect day in Almere. Shopping and appreciating the architecture come naturally when you are here. The city consists of many extraordinary buildings, designed by renowned architects. The city center is modern and offers more than 400 shops, like Hugo Boss, Superdry, EKO Plaza, Aveda, Zara, Esprit, and V&D.
You can also visit the safety expo PIT; the combined fire department museum and police museum where visitors learn everything about safety. Parking space is abundant beneath the shopping center, and shops are open seven days a week. A successful shopping spree can be concluded with dinner at one of the many restaurants on Belfort Square or Market Square. Or visit the cinema Utopolis, art centre Kunstlinie Almere Amsterdam or art centre Corrosia Theater, Expo & Film. Furthermore, Almere is known for its many exciting events. Besides the Libelle Zomerweek and the CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM, events like Liberation Festival, Beach festival ZAND and the Rabobank Almere Haven Festival also take place in Almere. And all this just minutes away from the capital Amsterdam.
The beginnings of Almere
Possibly the most important moment in the history of Almere is November 1976 when the very first inhabitants actually stood on Almere’s soil. This occurred in the brand new (first, and at that time, only) zone, Almere Haven (Haven = Harbour – this zone therefore borders on a large body of water with access to other towns). In 1977, Almere’s first baby was born and our first industrial estate (De Vaart) was also inaugurated. From that moment on, Almere wasn’t just meant for living, but also for working. Since 1979, Almere has been included on official maps and in 1984 we got our very own mayor – we’re official! Our first major events took place too: Stoomfestival (festival featuring all types of steam machinery, from tractors to locomotives) and the Holland Triathlon (now CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM) were born. Almere also began to be the place to be for Flevoland’s Bevrijdingsfestival (Liberation Festival) – one of the many held all around the country every year on Liberation Day, 5 May, which celebrates the end of WWII in the Netherlands. It has evolved into a festival with terrific free shows and pop concerts.
Today, more than 30 years later, there are 197.000+ inhabitants of Almere. As well as the six zones, each with its own centre, we have a brand new city centre, with tens of thousands of square meters of shops and various places of entertainment, thus ensuring Almere’s attractiveness to both resident and visitor alike.
Nature & Architecture
Almere is known for its wonderful parks, forests, gorgeous lakes, well maintained canals, and enchanting nature reserves. Take for instance the natural reserves Oostvaardersplassen or the Lepelaarsplassen. And just try Atlantis Beach (Atlantisstrand – part of the recreational area ‘Weerwater’), for a fabulous view of Almere’s skyline! Architecture and all its vagaries is actually a huge leading attraction in Almere and the new skyline is one of the city’s treasures. The Smaragd (Emerald), Lakeside, Side by Side, and The Wave are the names of projects for which Almere is known throughout the architectural world and you can see them all in the city centre.
Right next to the train station at Almere Centrum stands a huge tower with 13,000 m2 of offices, some of which house the World Trade Centre (WTC). You can’t miss this second WTC office block because ‘The Carlton’ is an amazing 120m high building with 32 floors. It is of course the highest building in Almere and visible from afar – from the train coming from either Amsterdam or Lelystad as well as from the A6 or A27 as you enter Almere by car.
Almere is doing more than expand its recreational facilities within the city. There is also a lot of work being put into improving Almere as a centre for education, study, and business. Centre for Higher Education (Hogeschool) Windesheim opened a college here in 2011 with a large selection of advanced courses in a variety of subjects. Almere has something for everyone – be pleasantly surprised because…in Almere, anything’s possible!