Almere is a young city, but by now is has become the eighth largest city in the Netherlands. Originally, the city was planned as a spacious city with several cores. On second thoughts, the city has become to build on the green zones that originally separated the different parts. The 'old' city consists of the kind of residential areas designed to slow down traffic that was popular in the 1970's and 1980's. In the newer neighborhoods, there are trendy and striking houses.
In 1975, Almere had only 47 inhabitants, but by now that number has increased to 180,000. The intention was for Almere to have 400,000 inhabitants by 2030. Most of the people came from Amsterdam, although by now many inhabitants have been 'born and bred' in Almere.
The city is located in the south-west of the province of Flevoland, which consists entirely of polders: land that was reclaimed from the sea. Nearby are the beaches of the Gooimeer, which is also very popular among people who love aquatic sports. To the north of the city lies the nature area of the Oostvaardersplassen, a wetland.
Almere is a typical commuter city: the people live there, but they work elsewhere, often in Amsterdam or in one of the other cities on the 'old land'. The city tries to attract businesses that can no longer grow in the Amsterdam-Schiphol area. Whether they will be successful remains to be seen, because the limited railway and road connections with the old land prevent many companies from moving to Almere
The city is building an office center near the Centrum station, near its World Trade Center. Almere has various higher education institutes, and there are also branches of the University of Amsterdam.
The nearest airport is that of Lelystad. At the moment, the airport is used only by private and business aircraft, but there are plans to expand the airport. It is likely that within a few years regular flights will be able to use Lelystad Airport.
The national airport Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located at about 40 kilometers from Almere.
Almere has six city bus lines, operated by Connexxion under the name 'Maxx'. During rush hour, the buses arrive very frequently, and at other times you never have to wait more than 7.5 minutes, and after 8 pm no longer than 20 minutes.
Almere is connected to the railway network, although the line ends in Lelystad, to the north-east of Almere. For years there have been plans to extend the line to Groningen, but that will not be realized for some time to come. The city has no fewer than five railway stations, and a sixth is under construction.
When the city planners designed Almere, they had a complete separation of the different kinds of traffic in mind. Almere has separate bus lanes and cycle paths, ensuring that slow and fast traffic don't get in each others' way. The city is accessible via the motorways A6 (from the A1 to Groningen) and A27 (from Almere to Utrecht). It is only during morning and evening rush hour that there tend to be long traffic jams, when the people commute to and from their work.
In the center of Almere parking in the street is paid. Around the center, there is a so-called blue zone, where you can only park up to one hour with a parking disk. People who live on those streets often have a special card for visitors. In addition, in Almere-Stad there are several car parks where you can park your rental car. In Almere-Muziekwijk there is a P+R area.
Although there are only two hotels, chances are that there will always be rooms available, because the city does no attract many business people or tourists (yet). Near the city there are a few campsites.
For more information about Almere, we recommend Google, and the following sources: