Banská Bystrica

SNP square in Banska Bystrica
Map showing Banská Bystrica's location in Slovakia
Museum of Slovak National Uprising
Urpín and 1552 Clock Tower

Banská Bystrica is a city in Central Slovakia.

Understand

Banská Bystrica is situated in central Slovakia between the national parks Veľká Fatra and Nízke Tatry (north of the city), the national park Poľana (east of the city), and the Štiavnicke Vrchy (southwest of the city). Banská Bystrica is the capital of Banská Bystrica region (kraj) and Banská Bystrica department (okres). It has 78,068 inhabitants (2012).

Get in

By plane

Banská Bystrica is serviced by Sliač Airport. The airport is located 15 km from Banská Bystrica, however, there are no regular passenger flights at the moment (only charters).

The closest international airports are Budapest (200km), Bratislava (205km) and Vienna (260km).

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/train. As of summer 2015, it was not possible to make it with less than 2 transfers (significantly bypassing the shortest route).

By train

There are train connections to 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 to Bratislava have wifi. The "Banská Bystrica - mesto" station is located closer to the town center. The Banská Bystrica mesto station is located closer to the town centre.

By bus

There are bus connections to all major Slovak cities as well as international routes to Vienna, Czech Republic and many other cities in Western Europe. Buses to and from Bratislava cost around 9.50 EUR (RegioJet buses cost 5 EUR). As of mid-2015, the last bus leaves Bratislava for Banská Bystrica at 20:35, so be careful about connections if booking flights to Bratislava airport or to Vienna airport.

By car

Banská Bystrica has road connections to all major Slovak cities. It can be reached from Bratislava (210km) via highway R1. Banská Bystrica also has road connections to: Ruzomberok (52km) road 59/E77, Martin (59km) road 65, Zvolen (19km) road R1/E77. From Zvolen it is possible to continue further south by E77 to Sahy (70km - Hungarian border) and Budapest (160km).

Get around

Banská Bystrica is a walkable city and all the main sights can be reached by foot in 15 minutes.

Public transport

Public 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 EUR (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 .

Taxi

Due 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 EUR 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.

See

Banská Bystrica has a beautiful position between the mountains. Therefore it's a popular summer and winter resort. The heart of the old city is the SNP square (Námestie SNP) which dates back to the 13th century. You can find a lot of renaissance and jugendstil buildings here. These sights include:

Out of the main square:

Do

Cycling

Surrounding 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 this page. 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).

Buy

Eat

Mid-range

Drink

At the central square in the city several small bars are located, which serve beer as well as other drinks and dishes.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.