Banská Bystrica is a city in Central Slovakia.
By planeBanská Bystrica is serviced by
The closest international airports are Budapest (200 km), Bratislava (205 km) and Vienna (260 km).
If you are flying from Vienna, work out the connections well. A mid-afternoon flight from Vienna (at about 15:00) probably involves leaving Banská Bystrica on the 06:27 train or a bus between 07:00 and 08:00. It is also possible to take the 08:27 train to Bratislava and reach Vienna airport for a mid-afternoon flight, but this leaves little time buffer.
Transport to Budapest is relatively complicated with no direct bus or train. As of summer 2015, it was not possible to make it with less than 2 transfers (significantly bypassing the shortest route).
By trainThere are train connections from the major Slovak cities. Banská Bystrica can also be reached from Vienna, Budapest, Poland and the Czech Republic (direct train). The city is not served well in the evening. Plan your connections from Bratislava carefully, as there are no trains between 18:01 and 23:49 (the midnight train arrives at 05:19, with the train stopping in Zvolen at 02:57, with a long wait to 04:47 -- for a local train to Banská Bystrica).
Many of the trains from Bratislava have Wi-Fi.
There are two stations:
Main train station
Banská Bystrica - mestoA station that is closer to the town center.
Main bus station
By carBanská Bystrica has road connections from all major Slovak cities. It can be reached from Bratislava (210 km) via highway R1. Banská Bystrica also has road connections from: Ruzomberok (52 km) road 59/E77, Martin (59 km) road 65, Zvolen (19 km) road R1/E77. From Zvolen it is possible to continue further south by E77 to Sahy (70 km - Hungarian border) and Budapest (160 km).
Banská Bystrica is a walkable city and all the main sights can be reached by foot in 15 minutes.
Public transportPublic transport is useful if staying outside the city center or for trips around the city. It consists of buses and trolleybuses and a single trip costs €0.70 (as of mid-2015). Regional buses from the main bus station (or adjacent "Parkovisko Mičinská" stop) service surrounding villages for a slightly higher price. For more information and current schedules visit this page .
TaxiDue to increased competition (triggered by complete absence of public transport over night), prices of taxi in Banská Bystrica have plummeted to flat rate of around €3-4 per trip anywhere inside the city (trips outside the city are charged per km). With the official city area being quite large, it makes taxi really convenient transport option.
address: SNP Square 1This house belonged to a medieval miner who built this enormous house beside the town square. Now it hosts information centre of the city and it is also used for the representative purposes of the mayor.
address: SNP Square 4Set in a beautiful renovated renaissance house, it has its expositions in two other historical buildings in the city.
Marian`s PillarThe baroque pillar was built in 1719 as a sign of gratitude to the Virgin Mary after the end of the plague.
The Black ObeliskMonument in honour of soldiers of the Red Army and the Romanian Army.
address: SNP SquareBaroque style Roman Catholic church, built in the early 18th century.
The Clock TowerBuilt around 1552 as a part of the Town market. Entrance fee to the top is €2 (children go for free).
BarbakanThe main fortification complex and the dominant point with the Petermann bell – tower. It hosts a stylish restaurant.
Virgin Mary's Assumption Churchaddress: Štefan Moyses Square 1Roman church built in the 13th century which was expanded in the gothic era.
Out of the main square:
address: Kapitulská 23Museum of items and documents of the resistance in the Second World War. Wide stairs lead to a pious chamber with the symbolic grave of an unknown soldier, eternal fire and soil from the battlefields and burnt villages, tables dedicated to Holocaust victims and international involvement in the uprising. The museum is characteristic with its notable Soviet-era architecture. The full fare is €2, with various discounts.
Two big parks for relaxation near city center are available:
At SNP museum
Zahrada CNKThis park at a "center of independent culture" may be closed or used for different happenings.
CyclingSurrounding of Banská Bystrica is great for cycling sport (cross, mountain). You can do many cycling trips according to your preferences. Villages around the town are connected by asphalt roads. In the countryside and mountains there are many paved or gravel roads used for forestry in the past but now used mainly for trekking and cycling. Treks for cycling are not marked very well but the situation is improving as cycling is becoming very popular sport among locals.
For more information visit cyklobb.sk There are very useful information about cycling treks including length, profile, directions, photos, eating opportunities. Unfortunately, page is available only in Slovak language but it is very intuitive and you can use google translator. During summer weekends and holidays there are also regular bus services for cyclists with bikes to 3 cycling destinations (Malý Šturec, Harmanecká jaskyňa, Donovaly).
address: Na Troskách 25Large shopping mall offering wide range of stores. Joined with Europa Business Center (the tallest building in the city).
Healthy foodaddress: Kollarova 18Vegetarian cafeteria with Slovak specialities
phone: +421 48 415 50 36address: Horná 39Cheap restaurant with typical Slovak dishes. They have daily menus for €4-5 including soup.
phone: +421 48 417 40 20address: Rudohorská 33Relatively cheap restaurant with international food including pizza, daily menu for €4-5. It is a bit off from the city centre.
phone: +421 48 412 49 19address: Dolná 36Pleasant restaurant not far from SNP square, they offer mainly European food including steaks and pizza. It also contains a beer bar with home-made beer.
phone: +421 48 419 81 51address: Uľanská cesta 170, 97411 Banská BystricaNice traditional restaurant next to the road E77 direction to Donovaly. Unfortunately accessible only by own car but if you are driving around it is worth to visit. You can taste Slovak national meal called Halušky (Potato dumplings with Bryndza cheese) in traditional atmosphere.
phone: +421 48 415 37 85address: Námestie SNP 20In the city centre, this restaurant offers traditional Slovak specialities and home-made beer as well.
phone: +421 48 416 30 95address: Dolná 42Centrally located elegant, modern restaurant with gourmet cuisine. They serve delicious coffee specialities and alcoholic drinks too.
phone: +421 48 416 30 90address: Horná 23Excellent restaurant close to SNP square with different types of food, they also have á la carte dishes and cocktails. During summer there is a covered terrace.
phone: +421 48 415 26 71address: Kapitulská 10It's the edge of SNP square, and is a good place to meet. Daily menu, several types of beer and other alcoholic drinks are available.
phone: +421 48 470 07 02address: Dolná 52Stylish cocktail and coffee bar next to the SNP square with wide selection of drinks. They also serve beer and some dishes.
phone: +421 94 414 14 19address: Horná 65Very nice and relaxed tea house near the city centre with several types of tea. Coffee and shisha are available too.
phone: +421 415 254 868address: Lazovná 17
phone: +421 48 413 87 65address: Školská 9, 97401 Banská BystricaBasic tourist dorms. Costs around €10/night per person.
phone: +421 918 109 680address: Robotnícka 6, 97401 Banská BystricaCheap guesthouse, central location close to the bus station. Costs €25/double room.
phone: +421 903 808 960address: Sládkovičova 9, 97405 Banská BystricaSituated in a residential quarter, 10-15 min walk from the center. Clean, and friendly staff. Typical price in 2015 was €40 for a double room.
phone: +421 948 948 494address: Horná 44, 97401 Banská BystricaDecent and very centrally located guesthouse. Costs €42 for a double room + €4/pp for breakfast.
phone: +421 48 414 41 41address: Námestie Slobody 2, 97401 Banská BystricaThe most famous hotel in Banská Bystrica has become the city landmark since its construction in 1970 and even nowadays its a significant reminder of Communist era architecture (although it has undergone a partial reconstruction). Costs around €50 for a double room (breakfast included).
phone: +421 48 471 78 00address: Švermova 32, 97404 Banská Bystrica4
phone: +421 45 530 00 00address: Letecká 19, 96231 SliacJust off the highway R1 between Banská Bystrica and Zvolen, it includes wellness, spa and restaurant. Basic double room costs €90 (presidential suite is €300+/night).
UrpínA mountain on the left bank of Hron river, above the old town. The most popular trail "Serpentine Urpin" is moderately demanding, 3.6-km long trail with a total elevation 173 m (peak in 510 m). Walking time may very between 1-2 hours (allow more time with children). There is a chapel and an astronomical observatory ("Vartovka") at the top of Urpín.
address: Dolný Harmenec 976 03The cave ranks among the most important caves in Slovakia by remarkable origin of cave spaces, mighty breakdown domes and number of wintering bats. It is located 15 km north from the city by road E77 and 65/14 (direction to Martin). It is possible to take regional bus no.601454 to "Horný Harmanec - jaskyňa" stop. From the bus stop, it is a 1.5-km long uphill hike (260 m in elevation) to the entrance. The full fare is €6 and there are discounts for children, students and seniors. Make sure to bring warm clothes even during summer as the average temperature of one hour cave tour is around 5-7°C.
Špania DolinaA mountain sleepy village lying 728 m above the sea level, on the borderline of the Low Tatras and Great Fatra National Parks. Once famous all over Europe for the rich deposits of copper ore, nowadays a place of natural mountain beauty. It is 15 km north from the city by initially taking road E77 then turning off to a potholed hilly road. It can be reached by an infrequent regional bus no.601468.
HronsekThe village is on the left bank of Hron river, 10 km south of Banská Bystrica. Its main attraction is the wooden articled church (UNESCO World Heritage). Hronsek can be reached by car from the main highway R1 heading to Zvolen or by a regional bus no.601455.
Suchý vrchA hill creating south-west boundary of the city, lying on the edge of Kremnica Mountains. With its numerous easy and moderate trails, it is an ideal option for a family day trip. In spite of some facilities on the top (restaurant, horseback riding), the forest routes provide no facilities, so it is necessary to bring own supplies. It is best accessible from adjacent villages Tajov, Králiky and Malachov or from the city quarter Fončorda (trolleybus stop "Nad Tulskou").