Almere is the largest city in the Netherlands' youngest province - Flevoland. Like virtually all of Flevoland, it used to be covered by the waters of the Zuiderzee well into the 20th century. Due to its lack of history and old buildings, Almere is sometimes decried as a bland or "artificial" town but it is also one of the fastest growing in the Netherlands with a more youthful population than the Dutch average and more people moving in than out, so there must be something drawing people here. Certainly one aspect is the relative proximity of Amsterdam and the Randstad while housing prices are still notably lower than in the bigger cities. Working from (nearly) a "blank canvas", town planners and architects could put into practice their ideas of an "ideal community" when Flevoland was first settled and there are still some aspects of that apparent to urban planning enthusiasts like Christaller's concept of "central places" placed at the corners of a honeycomb shape. Almere had about 191,000 inhabitants in 2011, which makes it the 7th city of the Netherlands by population and one of Europe's largest cities founded in the 20th century.
The busy railway corridor called Flevolijn/Hanzelijn runs right through Almere from East to West. Along it, no less than six train stations are strung within Almere: 1 Almere Muziekwijk. ,2 Almere Centrum. , 3 Almere Parkwijk. , 4 Almere Buiten. , 5 Almere Poort. and 6 Almere Oostvaarders. . There are direct train connections from Almere to Schiphol, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Hilversum, Leiden, Delft, Dordrecht, Roosendaal, Vlissingen, Lelystad, Dronten, Zwolle, Leeuwarden and Groningen, among others. One can easily transfer to trains taking you to almost any other station within the Netherlands in one of those destinations.
Apart from its bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Almere is also served by transregional bus lines utilizing the same BRT infrastructure. They are distinguished by their three-digit numbers (city bus lines in Almere are only numbered using one or two digits
Some of the lines stop at Almere Centrum, but some do not. Since December 2017 all the local bus lines have their endpoint at Almere Centrum. Most regional busses also stop at Almere Centrum, but there are some exceptions. They usually, however, stop at some other railway station within Almere or at the bus transfer point Almere t'Oor on the outskirts of Almere.
The bus lines are meant to supplement the railway by offering direct connections between more remote areas without the need to use the congested trains during peak hours. Therefore, for most tourists, it will be much more convenient to stick to using trains. If, however, you indeed want to start or finish your journey in a point not close to a railway station, consult 9292.nl for up-to-date information on connections and schedules.
Almere is at the intersection of two motorways - the A6 going through the entire Flevoland, connecting to the Amsterdam-bound A1, and the A27, which forks southwards, towards Hilversum and Utrecht, from the A6 in Almere.
Almere is close to the Schiphol Airport, one of the best-connected airports in the world. From the train station directly underneath the airport concourse, you can take a direct train to Almere. There are longstanding plans to turn Lelystad airport into a "reliever" for Schiphol but as of 2021 it is unclear when, if ever, they'll come to fruition.
Almere has six train stations. Almere Poort, Almere Muziekwijk, Almere Centrum, Almere Parkwijk, Almere Buiten, and Almere Oostvaarders. Almere also has an extensive network of freelaying bus routes. On most of these routes, buses run every five minutes from Monday to Friday. In the weekend, early in the morning and in the evening and night. The busses drive less frequently.
The city also features an extensive network of free laying bike paths covering the entire city. Bikes can be rented at the bike shops at the train stations Almere Centrum and Buiten.
Almere is rife with prominent examples of modern architecture from 1970s onwards, and prides itself in its collection thereof. If this is one of your interests, you will surely not be disappointed in Almere.
Your tour of the architectural marvels of Almere would head off to a good start with a visit to those two places, both housed in rather interesting buildings, close to each other and right in the centre of the city:
- CASLa. Centre for architecture, city construction and landscape of Almere, with exhibitions and various events. The staff will be happy to talk you through Almere's architectural richness, give you an overview of the town centre using a scale model, and will often be able to provide you with maps, guides and publications on architecture in Almere.
- VVV Almere. The local tourist information office will be happy to suggest walks or tours for you to take, and has maps and electronic guides with pre-programmed architecturally-themed routes to take. They also have state-of-the-art bicycles for rent if you want to explore Almere that way.
Some of the most prominent works of architecture are to be found in the town's new centre (Stadshart):
- De Citadel, Jewel and Smaragd and Angle form a multi-functional centre with shops on the ground level, residential quarters over them and parking and transit hidden undernath
- De Nieuwe Bibliotheek complements them with a striking building with functions beyond that of a traditional library and more of a true community centre. Next to it is the sprawling city hall, Stadhuis Almere
- The waterfront of Stadshart is a collection of striking residential buildings: Lakeside, The Wave, Side by side and The City. Next to them, striking De Kunstlinie houses the local theatre (Schouwburg Almere)
Art and cultureEdit
- Utopolis - the local outlet of the multiplex cinema chain
- Tour Almere the traditional way. The local company Almere Veertje offers many of the traditional tourists treats, including trips by boat, an ultra-cheesy tourist train with a hop-on-hop-off option and guided tours to some of the city's attractions.
- Walk! - Almere is a very walkable municipality, offering both urban and natural landscapes to explore. There are plenty of organized and pre-planned walks available via VVV Almere . Or you can simply grab a map and explore yourself.
In the City Centre -  of Almere are branches of all major retailers. Besides, there are also many local and special shops. In Almere Haven you will find Haven Centrum, this is a community center. In Almere Buiten you will find BuitenMere, a community center and DoeMere-  a large shopping center that is completely specialised in home and DIY. In Almere Poort are two supermarkets, a pharmacy, a drugstore and a number of small eateries. Besides these, there are many local shops, for instance at the C. van Eesterenplein, Literatuurwijk , Muziekwijk, Parkwijk and De Meenten
- Almere Fried Chicken, Grote Markt 9. 12:00-00:00. Halal Fried Chicken.
- King of the Ribs, Forum 18, ☏ . Kebab burgers, chicken products and spareribs.
- Febo, De Diagonal 26; and Stationsplein 20. Burgers, chicken, wraps, ice cream. Fast food chain.
- IJspressi, Schutterstraat 44, Grote markt. Su M 12:00-18:00; Tu W F Sa 10:00-18:00; Th 10:00-21:00. Ice cream parlor and espresso bar
- IJsalon Mariola, Mariola, ☏ . Ice cream parlour.
- Mockamore, De Diagonal 3. M 11:00-18:00, Tu W F 09:30-18:00, Th 09:30-21:00, F Sa 09:30-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. Coffee, bagels, etc.
- Bakker Bart, Kruisstraat 33-37. M-Sa 08:00-17:30. Sandwiches, bread, snacks.
- Family, Noordeinde 247. M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 13:00-21:00. Sandwiches €2-5, hamburgers €3-6.
- Kwalitaria, Prozastraat 113. Burgers, sandwiches, fries, shakes. Also at Rio de Janeirostraat 12, and Condigent Rimsky-Korssakovweg 41.
- Bistro Rood, Kruisstraat 43-45, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W Th Su 12:00-21:00, F Sa 12:00-22:00. Lunch €6.5-13. Dinner mains €13-19.
- Restaurant Het Indisch Veerhuys, Havenhoofd 7, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-Tu 16:30-21:30. Dishes €12.50; Rijstaffel €28.50-32.50/person.
- Tapas Barça, Grote Markt 75, ☏ . 10:00-22:00 (Th Su to 22:30, F Sa to 23:00). Wide choice of cocktails, meat and vegetarian tapas. Tapas plates €3-10.
- Sake, Brouwerstraat 15. Su-W 16:30-22:00, Th-Sa 16:30-22:30. Japanese/Asian fusion, sushi and grill. All-you-can-eat €22-25.
- Sapporo, Grote Markt 53, ☏ . Su-W 16:30-22:00, Th-Sa 16:30-22:30. Chinese, Japanese, sushi, grill and wok. All-you-can-eat €22-25.
- Sasa Lounge, Havenzicht 16, ☏ . Hispano-Japanese fusion: sushi, tapas, vegetarian Tapas €5-10, sushi €4-13, all-you-can-eat €40-55.
- Brasserie Bakboord, Veerkade 10, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily from 11:00. Included in Michelin's Bib Gourmands 2018 for the Benelux. Mains €18-28, 3 courses €37.
- Restaurant Boathouse, Noorderplassenweg 150, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-23:00. Lunches €6.5-10.5. Dinner mains €14-29.
- Restaurant Bij Brons, Sluis 3, ☏ . Tu-Su from 17:30. Mains €18-28, 3 courses €37.
- Restaurant Treasure, Sluiskade 2-10, ☏ . Tu-Su 16:00-22:00. Pan-Asian, sushi, etc. Mains €13.5-29, all-you-can-eat €23.5-32.5.
- Brasserie Julia, Sluiskade 16-20, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W-M lunch and dinner. Lunch €7-13; dinner mains €10-28.
- Atlantis, Pim Mulierstraat 101, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 16:30-22:30. World kitchen.
Most bars are on the Grote Markt. There are some bars in the Havenkom, this is harbor of Almere-Haven, here you can eat and drink while enjoying the view of the bay in a very calm setting.
At Almere City Centre you'll find
There aren't many accommodation options in Almere, and all are geared towards business travellers - expect modern, non-nonsense design and the usual features.
- Apollo Hotel Almere City Centre, Coach track 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. In the centre of Almere, next to the impressive waterfront, and featuring unusual architecture itself. From €100.
- ANNO, Grote Markt 121, ☏ . This hotel has 26 rooms in the city centre, in an inassuming location over a bar of the same name. From €65.
- Hotel Finn, Koopmanstraat 3, ☏ . Close to the other two hotels in central Almere. From €100.
- Van der Valk Almere, Veluwezoom 45, ☏ . This plush hotel, featuring a swimming pool, is in a business/industrial district quite a bit away from the centre. From €100.
- Bastion Deluxe Hotel Almere, Audioweg 1, ☏ . Like most other Bastion Hotels, it is geared towards business travellers arriving by car. It is in an industrial park just by the A6, but pretty much far away from everything else. €72-106.
- Csmart Hotel, Zeeduinweg 11 (Located in the dunes at Almere Beach), ☏ .
- Lelystad — has some interesting sights, such as the recreated VOC ship
- Oostvaardersplassen — this nature reserve is one of the prime birding areas in Europe
- Schokland — this island used to be similar to Urk, but had to be evacuated; a ghost village remains and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Urk — traditional old Dutch village community that once was an island
|Routes through Almere|
|Groningen ← Lelystad ←||N S||→ Muiden → Amsterdam|
|END ←||N S||→ Blaricum → Breda|