Have you ever been to Lelystad? The capital of Flevoland is a symbol of enormous efforts. Did you think the Delta Works were impressive? Then you have not realized that Lelystad – literally – is a city at the bottom of the sea.
The construction of Lelystad only started in 1965. That makes Lelystad one of the youngest cities in the Netherlands. But the city has matured for a long time. It is a city with a healthy economy, a city that is vibrant and alive. There is always something fun to do in Lelystad.
We list the best activities in Lelystad and the surrounding area for you. What fun things are you going to do in Lelystad today?
On the bike
When Lelystad was designed, the safety and comfort of cyclists was a major priority. This makes cycling in Lelystad one of the best things to do. You can do that on your own bike, but you can make it even easier for yourself by renting a bike. At Rent-a-Bike Lelystad you can rent a comfortable city bike for a maximum of € 15 per day. You even have a nice e-bike for a maximum of € 25 per day.
Because there are so many fun things to do in Lelystad, there is a good chance that you will stay longer than one day. The longer you rent, the lower the price.
So, your transportation is arranged. We continue to the list of things to do in Lelystad and the surrounding area.
Discover the new nature of the Oostvaardersplassen
There is a unique piece of nature reserve on the outskirts of this young city in the Netherlands. A century ago, this area was the bottom of the Zuiderzee. Today it is a wetland area of 6,000 hectares, where ponds and reed plains alternate.
In contrast to most nature reserves in the Netherlands, the Oostvaardersplassen originated completely naturally. Originally, all kinds of industrial areas were drawn here. When there was little demand for this, nature took its chance. Soon all kinds of birds discovered the area as a stopping place. Geese, spoonbills, cormorants, roe deer, foxes – even the sea eagle – now live there.
Figure 1: Take a bicycle tour around the Oostvaardersplassen from Lelystad. This activity combines sporting performance with the relaxation of beautiful nature. (Photo: Jeroen Langendam)
A visit to the Oostvaardersplassen is a real must-do activity for those who visit Lelystad. Use this cycle route as inspiration for a tour around the Oostvaardersplassen (from 32 / 41km).
Our advice: take your time. It is not without reason that this bike tour is the first on our inspiration list for “what to do in Lelystad”. This is one of those activities that you should experience in peace. Anyone who takes the time to reflect on all the beautiful things you can see and experience is with this route easy for a day out.
Adventure forest (Belevenissenbos) – great for the kids
Are you visiting Lelystad with the whole family? Then you are looking for fun things that you can do with the children. Go and play outside! For example in the Belevenissenbos.
The play area, which is accessible free of charge, offers 40 hectares of “natural play”. Numerous play areas and dozens of play areas are ready to be found. Clamber in trees and over the water. This is pure play, unregulated and in the wild. Of course, a wet suit is possible. But that makes it just so much fun
Don’t feel like going home? Don’t worry, book one of the bushcamps and stay camping overnight.
Figure 2: The Belevenissenbos of Lelystad offers 40 hectares of playing and camping fun. Free entry and a wealth of fun activities. (Image: www.belevenissenbos.nl)
Nature Park Lelystad
Nature Park Lelystad also invites you to participate in a range of activities. Start with a visit to the beautiful exhibition about the area in the Visitor Center and be inspired by the many things you can do and see in nature – so close to the city.
Figure 3: In Nature Park Lelystad you can bump into, among other things, the Father Davishert (Photo: Gouwenaar, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Just like the Oostvaardersplassen, the Lelystad Nature Park is ideal for a bike ride, but walking is also a pleasure.
Whatever you want to do, there is a route for it. Use the handy routing machine at the entrance of the visitor center to put together your own walking or cycling route, exactly the way you want it.
You may start to see a pattern. Our All-in-1 overview “What to do in Lelystad” contains a lot of new nature. Thanks to Natuurmonumenten we can add another activity to our list: a visit to the Markerwadden.
In addition to new land, the reclamation also caused damage to nature. By creating new islands, Natuurmonumenten wants to give nature a chance to recover. Ultimately, a nature reserve of more than 10,000 hectares should be created here.
Although the construction of the Markerwadden (in the Markermeer) only started in 2016, the first successes are already visible. 2020 even brought a few surprises: the bald eagle, beard men, the blonde horseman, kingfishers and even two kinds of flamingos!
Activities on the Markerwadden
It could be more fun, because why not make the trip itself a fun activity? Book a boat trip to the Markerwadden with the MS Waddenzee. Along the way, the guides will tell you a lot about the area, its natural value and history. On the Markerwadden itself you can enjoy a nice walk (possibly with a guide).
Work island (Werkeiland)
If you want to know more about the history of Flevoland, a visit to the Werkeiland is one of the things you should definitely do. This is where, on October 31, 1949, the first pile of what would become Lelystad was driven.
Figure 4: The Wortmangemaal is part of Lelystad’s heritage (Photo: Jeroen Langendam)
The first pile was then in the middle of the water, but is now on the outskirts of Lelystad. Get on your bike and ride to the Wortmansluis (and the associated pumping station), which is part of the technological heritage of the reclamation mill.
The Werkeiland is perfect if you are looking for something to do in Lelystad to fill up a few hours. Here you can take a short walking tour in peace and quiet. discover what great achievement the polderers have delivered!
Bataviakwartier: something for everyone
Whoever you are, if you are looking for things to do in Lelystad, you will soon end up in the Bataviakwartier. Although the Bataviakwartier only has a relatively small area, this is a true hotspot for all kinds of activities.
De Batavia (Great for the kids)
We start with the namesake of the Bataviakwartier: VOC ship the Batavia. The Batavia began its journey to Dutch India in 1628. Loaded with cash, jewelry, wine, and other luxury goods, the ship would trade only to return a cargo of spices after eight months.
It turned out differently. Skipper Adriaan Jacobsz turned out to be a bit too charmed by the wife of the chief merchant. His flirtation sparked quarrels and mutiny – and ultimately shipwreck!
The Batavia that you can now visit in Lelystad is a faithful replica, built by young people who followed their education here and volunteers. After 10 years of hard work, the ship was christened in 1995. View this ship and visit the exhibition
Visit a lecture for more depth. Take part in one of the organized activities . Learn the trade of a rope maker, hear the cannons roar or have your own archaeological finds investigated during the archaeological consultation hour.
Figure 5: VOC Ship the Batavia is the figurehead of the Bataviakwartier (Photo: Edward Lich, via Pixabay)
Museum Batavialand (Great for the Kids)
Visiting Batavialand is one of the things you can do if you want the kids to learn something during your visit to Lelystad. The museum not only sheds light on the reclamation, but also discusses the centuries-long struggle against – and relationship with – the Dutch water.
Figure 6: Vice Admiral Michiel de Ruyter has an honorable place in Musum Batavialand (Image: Wikipedia Commons)
The museum takes the children on an interactive journey of discovery through 7,000 years of history. Of course, also Cornelis Lely is discussed; how could it be otherwise in the city that bears his name. In addition, Michiel de Ruyter, voyages of discovery and much more are subjects about which you can learn many new things in this museum.
Shopping in Batavia Fashion Outlet
Shopping in Batavia Fashion Outlet should of course not be missing from our list of activities in Lelystad. No matter how bad your shopping addiction is, after a day at Batavia Fashion Outlet you can take it for a while. Where else can you find over 250 international fashion & lifestyle brands so close together.
In the more than 150 stores you can buy everything you could wish for as a fashionista: stylish collections, beautiful accessories, luxurious chocolate and innovations for the kitchen. After a day at Batavia Fashion Outlet you live the good life. And thanks to the high discounts in this outlet, you can also just go on holiday!
Stroll along the boulevard of Bataviahaven
End your day of shopping in the Fashion Outlet on the boulevard of Bataviahaven. The boulevard radiates the grandeur and opulence of Amsterdam during the Golden Age.
This is no coincidence, because the residential complex was specifically designed to evoke this allure. The complex at the Bataviahaven is a reminder of the enormous warehouses where goods from all over the world were stored.
Marvel at the most beautiful homes, stroll arm in arm along the water and enjoy a simple (or extensive) meal in one of the nice restaurants.
Water sports beach
Of course Lelystad also offers a wealth of water activities. The city attracts many sailing enthusiasts every year. Another big attraction is the 400 meter long beach. This beach has been specially constructed to get a breath of fresh air. Wind surfers and kite surfers have free rein here, but you can of course also stay ashore.
Near the beach of Lelystad you will find a steel work of art of 26 meters high. This artwork is officially called “Exposure”, but is better known as De Hurkende Man.
Figure 7: Exposure (Squatting Man) by Antony Gormley – Image: Herman Verheij under Creative Commons
He stares over the water and ponders topics we don’t know about. Does he long to travel? Is he trying to spot birds? Is he grieving about something? Or does he admire the kite surfers? Nobody knows, because the maker, Antony Gormley, has not revealed anything about it either.
Aviation museum Aviodrome (great for the kids)
Flying has fascinated people for centuries. That makes the Aviodrome Aviation Museum such an attractive flying destination. The collection of authentic aircraft alone makes this museum so attractive. Here you can view classics such as the Fokker Spin and the Fokker DR-I, and then view the Boeing 747 jumbo from the outside.
Figure 8: Aviodrome (Photo: Marion Golsteijn via Wiki Commons )
Events and activities
Isn’t watching planes enough for you and the kids? Then take part in one of the educational (but especially fun) activities that this museum in Lelystad organizes. Take a seat in the cockpit of a flight simulator, register the children for the training to become a pilot or flight attendant or operate the equipment in the radio room.
Do you want to stimulate the senses to the utmost? Then experience the 4D movie “Skymania”. This movie, in which you go on an adventure with Thomas and Elsa, picks up where a 3D movie ends. Feel the wind in your hair, and notice your skin getting moist as you fly through the clouds.
The 4D film is an experience in itself. This alone is worth a visit to the Aviodrome.’
“T Bovenwater (Recreation lake)
The best activity on a beautiful summer day is undoubtedly a visit to the beach. The swimming beach at ‘t Bovenwater is perfect for families with young children.
It is also one of the things to do in Lelystad that does not have to cost you anything. Access to the beach – just like parking – is free.
You can also undertake many more activities at this recreational lake. The water is prohibited for motor boats, which offers space for windsurfers and sailors. People with disabilities can also enjoy sailing at the local water sports association.
Plenty to do in Lelystad
If the overview of activities makes one thing clear, it is that there is a lot to do in Lelystad, for everyone. Whatever your age, whatever you like, in Lelystad every day, even today, there is something to do that makes you happy. So, hop on that bike and do something cool today!