Banská Bystrica is considered to be the heart of Slovakia. It is surrounded by mountain ranges with national parks. Banská Bystrica is a significant transportation node in terms of tourism development.
It is accessible by all means of transportation – car, bus, train and as well air service through nearby Sliač airport situated only 15 km away (for charter flights only).

The city has a rich history

The first written record dates to the 13th century. In 1255 king Belo IV promoted the status of the original Slovak settlement of Bystrica to that of a free royal city. Banská Bystrica was proclaimed as a city monument reservation, among the first in Slovakia. A significant feature of the city is its rectangular square with historical houses, a Virgin Mary column and a unique clock tower.

Modern history

Upon creation of the Slovak Republic in 1993, the city sought to strengthen its historical disciplines – banking, education, tourism and top sports. With the founding of Matej Bel University in 1992, Banská Bystrica became one of the centres of university education in Slovakia. Currently, Banská Bystrica is an economic, administrative and cultural centre of Central Slovakia, and a home to the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region.

Number of Inhabitants

According to data from the registry, 76 988 inhabitants had their permanent residency in the city at the end of 2018, thus ranking Banská Bystrica as 6th largest by population in Slovakia. In terms of level of education, a large percentage of inhabitants are university graduates, which offers a good foundation for further city development. Because Banská Bystrica lacks a strong industrial base the focus is on development of tourism, support for both professional and amateur sports and education.

Schools in Banská Bystrica

The city is a place of 3 universities – University of Matej Bel (6 Faculties) with nearly 8 000 students and university campus, Academy of Art (3 Faculties) with approx. 600 students, The Faculty of Health of the Slovak Medical University in Bratislava which provides education in accredited fields of study, for example Physiotherapy, Urgent Health Care.
Banská Bystrica has 18 high schools where among them is very popular Sport High Scholl with long tradition and outstanding results. The school has 405 students enrolled in 19 sports.
23 elementary schools administered by the city. As to the sport activities, one of them is the most significant – Elementary school, Golianova str. where sports classes were established in 1968. School has very modern athletic and sports area and gym.

Banská Bystrica – the European City of Sport 2017

Banská Bystrica gained the title of 2017 European City of Sport, awarded by ACES Europe and accepted by Mayor of city in Brussels on December 2016. Sports activities carried out in Banská Bystrica lifted this positive attitude towards sports to previously unseen numbers. Using our ECS Ambassadors, excellent athletes, Olympians, world and European champions, we kept luring thousands of inhabitants to sport.
Almost every year 22 174 of registered sportsmen are involved in sport competitions on local, regional and international levels. 37 276 inhabitants of Banská Bystrica registered for events of recreational sport and sport for handicapped communities. The entire number of those recorded for a sport activity in Banská Bystrica is 59 450 persons, i.e. 77.20% of the town population. These numbers prove how important and vital is to have the project of European city of sport, with Banská Bystrica being the prime example of this. It is due to support of municipality and partners.

History of Sport in Banská Bystrica

The history of sports began in the year 1889 and in 1900 was established the first sports club, BSC (Beszterszbányia Sport Club), with cycling, tennis and football units. In 1919 was created one of the largest sports clubs in Slovakia, Slávia Banská Bystrica. As the site for summer and winter sports, Banská Bystrica earned its nickname “Slovak Davos” in 1930s.1962 – Foundation of University Physical Exercise Training Club, Slávia Pedagogic Institute. 1965 – Foundation of an army sports centre that housed football, track and field, ski-jump, judo, sports gymnastics, water polo, biathlon, fencing, modern pentathlon, sports shooting, swimming, water slalom and downhill skiing. Currently it operates as the Army Sports Centre Dukla Banská Bystrica (ASC Dukla). In 1979 was founded the first sports boarding school, the first one in Czechoslovakia. The Sport high school produced several World and European champions and Olympic sportsmen. In 1992 foundation of Matej Bel University, UMB Sports Club. Currently the club has more than 1,000 active members in 10 sport disciplines.

Weather conditions

In Banská Bystrica, Zvolen and their region, the summers are comfortable, the winters are freezing and dry, and it is partly cloudy year-round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -6°C to 25°C and is rarely below 16°C or above 33°C. Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Banská Bystrica for warm-weather activities is from mid-June to late August.