The city that once rose from the water is now a true paradise for shopaholics and one of the beating hearts of international contemporary architecture in the Benelux. Just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam you can find a more peaceful, modern equivalent of the Dutch capital in the city of Almere. A classic example of Dutch innovation, the land on which Almere stands today was reclaimed from the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) where the first houses were built in the 1970s. Its young history and inhabitants (56 per cent of the cities’ population is under 40) earned Almere the title ‘newest city in the Netherlands’. Its impressive skyline, which includes striking buildings designed by well-known international architects.