Serving as the capital of Flevoland, Lelystad was established in 1967 on reclaimed land north-east of Amsterdam. It was named after Cornelis Levy, the engineer behind the Afsluitdijk, with this dam and causeway enabling the reclamation to take place. The area was the site of numerous shipwrecks throughout Dutch history and is home to several replica ships at the National Centre for Maritime History’s Batavialand.
Things to do in Lelystad
Delve into the past at Batavialand, an interactive museum detailing Flevoland’s unique history of land reclamation. A highlight of the museum is a replica of a 17th-century Dutch merchant frigate, the “Batavia”, which sunk in 1629 during its maiden voyage along the coast of Australia. Adjacent lies a replica of Admiral Michiel de Ruijter’s “Seven Provinces”, named after the autonomous regions that comprised the 17th-century Dutch Republic.
Forming part of the same complex is the Netherlands Institute for Maritime Archaeology, where you can get up close to the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman ship that was discovered near Utrecht. Don’t miss the nearby Nieuw Land Museum to learn about Flevoland’s polder reclamation and get hands-on while building dykes and operating sluices.
Need a retail fix? Head to the Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet, which was the first fashion outlet mall to open in the Netherlands. It’s home to more than 250 different brands that include Burlington, Fossil and Guess, as well as Karl Lagerfeld and Dutch Originals. Once you’ve built up an appetite, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the mall’s trendy cafes or restaurants.
Getting around Lelystad
Lelystad is around 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Amsterdam and 45 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Regular trains connect to the Lelystad Centrum railway station while buses travel throughout the city.