Banská Bystrica is one of the most beautiful settlements in Slovakia at the foot of the Low Tatras and the Great Fatra. The city is the center of the district and district of the same name - as well as the center of Central Slovakia. Banska Bystrica was once a mining town, and today tourism is one of the city's main sources of revenue.

The city is located in one of the bends of the 290 km long river Garam (a tributary of the Danube). It is named after the Banská Bystrica stream - which was built next to the town.

The population of Banska Bystrica is less than 80,000. Its population density is 757.73 people / km².

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Banska Bystrica Details
Country Slovakia
Local name Banská Bystrica
Location Banská Bystrica region
Bratislava distance 2 hours / 210 km
Mountain ranges nearby Big Fatra, Low Fatra, Low Tatra
Website banska-bystrica

Map - Where is Banska Bystrica?

Address, distance, map, getting there

Banska Bystrica is located in the middle of Slovakia, close to the Low Tatras and the Fatra National Park.

  • Distance from Banská Štiavnica: 45 minutes / 50 km
  • Distance from Bratislava: 2 hours / 210 km
Banska Bystrica map


The city was founded by German tribes in the 12th century. It is first mentioned in writing in 1255 - as Byzterchebana. Then raised IV. Béla ranked the settlement as a city, which was destroyed as a result of the Tartar invasion. Arc. Béla then settled Banská Bystrica with the Germans.

Already in the 15th century, the city walls were protected from outside attacks.

In 1620 Gábor Bethlen was elected king here, although his reign lasted only 1 year. Throughout history, there have been several battles for the city, the Thököly army and later the Rákóczi Kurucs occupied the city.

It was an important military-industrial center during the War of Independence and was not recaptured by the emperors until October 25, 1708. Its fortifications were then gradually demolished, leaving only the Butcher's Bastion and the town tower. His bishopric was founded by Maria Theresa.


Ore has been mined in the area since early times. The first rudimentary mining settlement belonged to the nearby Zvolen Castle.

In the Middle Ages, mining was the city’s main source of income for a long time. During this period, Banská Bystrica was one of the three richest mining towns in Central Slovakia. At the city, two important trade routes also intersected here. Today, about 300 inhabitants live in the town.

The lovely little town off Banská Bystrica


There are many attractions in the city that are worth visiting when you explore the city and its surroundings. You can use a small train called Pretoria to explore the city and its architectural masterpieces.

Attractions of Banska Bystrica 

Attractions nearby

Not only in the city itself but also in the district of Banská Bystrica, there are many exciting sights. Moreover, nature lovers can see interesting programs in the area:

#1 The center of Europe

Geografický stred Európy

For the first time in history, in 1775, the Polish cartographer Szymon Antoni Sobiekrajski initiated the definition of the center of Europe. He defined Poland as the center of Europe based on calculations at the time.

Since then, of course, several locations have proclaimed the noble title. One of the "claimants" is Kremnické Bane, a few kilometers from Banska Bystrica.

The definition of the geographical center of Europe is not clear because it does not matter in the calculation whether the islands are included in the continent's borders.

Other applicants: Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Tállya - Hungary

  • Address: 967 01 Kremnické Bane, Slovakia
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 40 minutes / 32 km

#2 Turcek Reservoir

Včárenská nádrž Turček

A quiet, peaceful excursion can be made around the Turcek Reservoir. The main task of the reservoir is to collect and supply raw water to the water treatment plant, from which it supplies drinking water to the districts of Žiar nad Hronom, Handlová, and Prievidza.

Its secondary function is to protect the upper river from floods, to ensure its ecologically constant flow throughout the year, and to generate electricity in small hydropower plants, wherever there are gradients and flows.

The reservoir is located at the confluence of the Turček and Ružový streams above the village of Turček. The total area of ​​the pool is 29.5 km2. The average amount of water supplied to the water treatment plant is 15.8 million cubic meters.

  • Address: Vodárenská nádrž Turček 038 48 Turček, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 50 minutes / 31 km
  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 09:00 to 17:00
  • Website

#3 Spania Valley Miner Educational Trail

Malý Banský náučný chodník

The miner's educational trail is located in a valley 6 km long. Hiking around the area, the trail is a true gem. The tour is not difficult, it only contains an 80 m level difference. It's a family-friendly walk. It takes about 2-3 hours to walk around. The route contains 10 stops.

  • Address: 974 01 Špania Dolina, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 15 minutes / 12 km
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Free entry
  • Website
Educational trail

#4 Suchy Vrch Lookout

Vyhliadka Suchy Vrch

Not far from Banska Bystrica is an 820-meter-long, one-way gorge with 8 ladders. This mini gorge tour is also ideal for small children, as the level difference is only 60 meters. The gorge is located near the town of Malachov.

  • Address: Vyhliadka Suchy Vrch, 974 05 Malachov, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 21 minutes / 10 km
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Website
Suchy Vrch lookout

#5 Museum of Technology

Rakytovo - vodný žľab

For those who want to learn more about logging and machining in the area, be sure to visit the open-air museum. The museum is located near Dolný Harmanci in the Rakytovo Valley.

The main attraction of the demonstration terrain is a 2450 meter long wooden floating system. It was probably built in the 19th century and declared a national cultural monument in 2000.

The entire structure of the trough is made exclusively of wood - spruce and pine, without the use of other materials such as iron or plastic.

  • Address: 976 03 Dolný Harmanec, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 17 minutes / 16 km
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Website

#6 Králická gorge and waterfall

Králická tiesňava

The Králická Gorge on Kremnické Hill offers an easy, family-friendly hike. The gorge is really wild, as at some points it is surrounded by 20-meter rock walls. At the end of the gorge awaits us with the same name - one of the highest waterfalls in the region.

  • Address: Králická tiesňava, 976 34 Králiky, Slovakia
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Free entry
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 14 minutes / 14 km
Kralicka gorge and waterfall

#7 Tajovskej kope waterfall

Vodopád pri Tajovskej kope

It is located next to the village of Tajov, only 15 minutes (by car) from one of the highest waterfalls in the region. Not only the falls, but the area is also worth a look. A quiet, relaxing walk awaits you here. Ideal with children.

During summer the waterfall is quite difficult to spot. Be careful not to pass by.

  • Address: Vodopád pri Tajovskej kope, 974 04 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 14 minutes / 10 km
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Free entry

#8 Malachovský waterfall

Malachovský vodopád

One of the closest waterfalls to Banska Bystrica is Malachovský Waterfall. Adjacent to the town of Malachov is this picturesque gorge, one of the highlights of which is, of course, the 15-meter-high waterfall.

The gorge itself is only 200 meters away, so it is worth combining it with an additional hiking route. There is also a bicycle route in the area, so it is worth exploring by bike.

  • Address: Malachovský vodopád, Unnamed Road, 974 05 Malachov, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 17 minutes / 10 km
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Free entry

#9 Harmanec Cave

Harmanecká jaskyňa

Harmanec Cave is one of the most interesting underground attractions in the area. It has a remarkable formation of the passages and huge collapsing halls. It is one of the most important caves in Slovakia with its extremely rich formations of mountain milk and massive wintering of bats. Average temperature - 6 ° C. It takes about 1 hour to explore the cave.

From the car park to the entrance of the cave, you have to overcome a level difference of 260 meters on the 1,420 m long path. The total length of the cave is 3123 m, of which 1020 m is open to the public.

  • Address: Harmanecká jaskyňa, 976 03 Dolný Harmanec, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 20 minutes / 16 km
  • Tour guide (closed on Mondays): 10:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30
  • Admission: between 7 and 3.50 euros
  • Website

#10 Skalka via Ferrata

Via Ferraty na Skalke

The via Ferrata route on the Kremnica Silos requires a little more travel than the other attractions. The interesting thing about the via Ferrata route is that it contains the longest via Ferrata suspension bridge in Slovakia - 78 meters long. The bridge, 45 meters above the ravine, offers a dazzling panorama.

The Skalka Arena is one of the most popular ski resorts in the region.

  • Equip. rental: Skalka Relax center
  • Address: Skalka, 967 01 Kremnica, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 50 minutes / 60 km
  • Opening hours: from June 1st
  • Website

#11 Articular wooden church of Hronsek

Drevený artikulárny kostol Hronsek

South of Banská Bystrica you will find the architectural specialty, the church of Hronsek. The church is located in the previously mentioned village of Hronsek. In 2008, it was even listed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

Construction of the church began on October 23, 1725, and was completed in the fall of 1726. The floor plan of the church is 8 m high, 26 m long, and 11 m wide. It has 30 windows and a bell tower.

  • Address: Skalka, 967 01 Kremnica, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 17 minutes / 14 km
Church of Hronsek

#12 Holidaypark Kováčová

If you are visiting the area in the summer, you should visit the Holiday park Kováčová. There is an outdoor and an indoor swimming pool. A playground, a slide, and a restaurant provide a cheerful atmosphere. And he who loves healing waters will find his own calculations here.

  • Address: PREVÁDZKA, Kúpeľná ul., Area Termálneho kúpaliska 962 37 Kováčová
  • Daily admission: 14 - 11 euros (free for children under 6)
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 17 minutes / 20 km
  • Website

#13 Castle Hronsek

Kaštiel v Hronseku

The castle in Hronsek is the oldest building in the village. The Gothic-Renaissance castle from 1576 was originally owned by the Géczy family and later by the Hungarian Teleky family.

The castle is currently privately owned and cannot be visited, so it can only be admired from the outside.

  • Address: 4, Zámocká 138, 976 31 Hronsek, Slovakia
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 18 minutes / 14 km
  • Opening hours: none
  • Website
Hronsek castle

#14 Dolná Mičiná Castle

Kaštieľ v Dolnej Mičinej

You can visit Beniczky Castle. It is worth knowing about the building that it is not too touristy, so we recommend it to those who like history and ruins.

  • Address: Dolná Mičiná 96, 974 01 Dolná Mičiná, Slovakia
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Distance from Banska Bystrica: 15 minutes / 12 km

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