These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.

Banská Bystrica Region


The Banská Bystrica Region, the country's largest in terms of area, lies in the southern part of central Slovakia. With its extensive forests and hilly terrain, it is the least densely settled region, with only 70 inhabitants per square kilometre, compared to the Slovak average of 110.

The terrain varies from the rugged Veľká Fatra and the more tame Nízke Tatry in the north, through the rangy hills and valleys of the Štiavnické vrchy around Banská Bystrica, to the agricultural flatlands south of Levice.

The region has three national parks - the Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras), Muránska planina and Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise) - as well as five protected natural areas (Cerová vrchovina, the Poľana UNESCO biosphere reservation, Ponitrie, Štiavnické vrchy and the Veľká Fatra mountains).

The Banská Bystrica Region has three main rivers flowing through it: the Hron, which is the largest and originates near Telgárt, flowing through the whole region to join the Danube at Štúrovo; and the Ipel, which forms a natural boundary with Hungary.

Getting there

Please see for information on public transportation in Slovakia (lines, arrivals, departures...)

Hyperlinks to the selected articles about places from the region:

Banská Bystrica
Banská Štiavnica
Hronský Beňadik
Nová Baňa
Click on the places listed above for more information about them.

Supplementary information about other places from Banská Bystrica Region.

Tourist Information Centres

Turisticko-informačná kancelária
(Tourist Information Centre)
Námestie M.R. Štefánika 3
Tel: +421 (0)48 611-4221
Open Jun 15-Aug 8:
Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00,
Sat 08:30-12:30
Off season: Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00

Rimavská Sobota
Turistické informačné centrum
(Tourist Information Centre)
Hlavné námestie 2
Tel: +421 (0)47 562-3645
Open Jun 15-Aug 31:
Mon-Fri 07:30-17:00,
Sat 09:00-13:00
Off season: Mon-Fri 07:30-16:00

Informačné centrum mesta Zvolen
(Town Information Centre)
Námestie SNP 21/31
Tel: +421 (0)45 542-9268
Open Jun 15-Sep 15:
Mon-Fri 08:00-16:30,
Sat 08:00-11:30
Off season: Mon-Fri 08:00-16:30

Castles, galleries and museums

Čierny Balog
Lesnícky skanzen
(Open-air Forestry Museum)
Hlavná 245
Mob: +421 (0)918 333-401
Tickets price €€1

Podpolianske múzeum
(Podpolianske Museum)
Partizánska 63
Tel: +421 (0)45 545-6755
Open Mon-Fri 08:00-16:00
Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (24km)

Dolná Strehová
Kaštieľ Dolná Strehová
(Dolná Strehová Manor House)
Madácha 1
Tel: +421 (0)47 489-7189
Open May-Oct: Tue-Sat 10:00-17:00
Off season: Mon-Fri 08:00-15:00
The manor house is the home of the Museum of Homeland Studies with an exhibition dedicated to the famous Hungarian writer Imre Madách Nearest urban centre: Lučenec (23km)

Modrý Kameň
Múzeum bábkarských kultúr a hračiek
a Hrad Modrý Kameň
(Museum of Puppets and Toys and
Modrý Kameň Castle)
Zámocká 1
Tel: +421 (0)47 487-0218
Open: May-Oct 09:00-17:00
Nov-Apr: 08:00-15:00
Tickets price: €€3.15
Nearest urban centre: Levice (30km)

Hutnícke múzeum Železiarní Podbrezová
(Metallurgy Museum of Podbrezová Ironworks)
Kolkáreň 35
Tel: +421 (0)48 645-2711
Open Mon-Fri 08:00-15:00
Booking necessary
Nearest urban centre: Brezno (9km)

Rimavská Sobota
Gemersko-malohontské múzeum
(Gemer-Malohont Museum)
M. Tompu 24
Tel: +421 (0)47 563-2741
Open Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00
May-Sep open also on Sat-Sun 09:00-16:00

Svätý Anton
Kaštieľ Svätý Anton
(Svätý Anton Manor House)
Mob: +421 (0)915 821-973
The building houses the Museum of Forestry, Wood Processing and Agriculture, with many trophies and arms.
Open Jul-Aug: Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00
May-Sep: Tue-Sun 08:30-16:00
Oct-Apr: Tue-Sat 08:00-15.00
Neares urban centre: Zvolen (34km)

Lesnícke a drevárske múzeum
(Forestry and Timber Museum)
Nám. SNP 21/31
Tel: +421 (0)45 532-1886
Open Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00

Zvolenský zámok (Zvolen Castle)
Námestie SNP 1
Tel: +421 (0)45 532-1903
Open May-Sep: Tue-Sun 10:00-17:30
Oct-Apr: Wen-Sun 10:00-17:30
The castle houses the Slovak National Gallery, with a valuable collection of Gothic and modern art.


Spas, Castles, Caves and Spas

In Banská Bystrica Region you can visit
- castles and ruins: Fiľakovo, Modrý Kameň, Zvolen, Ľupča
- caves: Harmanecká cave, Bystrianska cave, The Dead Bats’Cave
- spas: Brusno, Sliač, Číž and Dudince

Čierny Balog
Čiernohorská železnička
(Čiernohorská Steam Train)
Hlavná 56
Tel: +421 (0)48 619-1500
The steam train runs from May to Sep
Tickets start from €5

Golfové ihrisko Grey Bear Tále
(Golf Course Grey Bear Tále)
Tále 100
Phone: +421 (0)48 671-2512
Open May-Oct: Mon-Sun, 09:00-18:00 (except during tournaments)
An 18-hole golf course
Nearest urban centre: Brezno (13km)


Hotel Ďumbier
M. R. Štefánika 31/37
Tel: +421 (0)48 611-2661
Double rooms start at €30

Športhotel Donovaly ****
Donovaly 15
Tel: +421 (0)48 429-9020
Double rooms start at €68

Pension Predná Hora
Muráň 2
Tel: +421 (0)58 449-4158
Double rooms start at €26
Nearest urban centre: Brezno (40km)

Rimavská Sobota
Hotel Zlatý býk
Š. M. Daxnera 413
Tel: +421 (0)47 563-2032
Double rooms start at €59.75

Hotel Kaskády
Letecká 12
Tel: +421 (0)45 544-1122, 24
Double rooms start at €102
Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (6km)

Hotel Partizán
Bystrá 108
Tel: +421 (0)48 630-8500
Double rooms start at €68
Nearest urban centre: Brezno (17km)


February: Preteky psích záprahov (Dog-Sleigh Race) Features almost every breed of Siberian dogs and a unique atmosphere Donovaly Nearest urban centre: Banská Bystrica (27km)

July: Folklórny festival Poľana (Folklore Festival Poľana) The international festival of folklore Detva, Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (24km)

July: Dudinská stopa (Dudince Trace) Country festival, Dudince Nearest urban centre Levice (29km)

July: Celoslovenská prehliadka Fujerášov (The Slovak Fujara Player Exhibition) Folk culture connected with playing the fujara (traditional musical instrument) Korytárky Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (31km)

August: Rodeo Muráň Rodeo riders, rodeo races, and a rich cultural and entertainment programme Muráň Nearest urban centre: Brezno (40km)

August: Koliesko–Festival ľudovej kultúry (The Koliesko Folk Culture Festival) Poltár, Nearest urban centre: Rimavská Sobota (21km)

August: Očovská folklórna hruda Folk music, craft market, folk dance party, dance school and fujara school Očová, Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (17km)

August: Festival Hotnianska paráda (Hontianska Paráda Festival) Scenic programmes, traditional agricultural works of Hrusov's remote mountain settlements and non-traditional activities, such as mowing and threshing crops, baking bread and burning charcoal Hrušov, Nearest urban centre Lučenec (64km)

September: Grand Prix Slovakia Zvolen International Steam Locomotive Race Grand Prix Zvolen

September: Dni mesta Krupina (The Krupina Town Days) An old town market Krupina, Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (27km)

September: Gemersko–Malohontský jarmok (The Gemer and Malohont Fair) Fair revives the traditional Saturday markets. Rimavská Sobota

September: Dni sv. Huberta (St. Hubert Days) Hunting festival Svätý Anton, Nearest urban centre: Zvolen (34km)

October: Balocké bačovské dni (Balog Shepherd Days) Chalets traditions and sheep-hearding customs of the Horehronie region Čierny Balog Nearest urban centre: Brezno (7km)

November: Hory a mesto (The Mountains and Town) International mountain film festival Zvolen,

December: Valaské Vánoce (Shepherds’ Christmas) Traditional Christmas customs Strelníky Nearest urban centre: Banská Bystrica (25km)

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2009, which you can obtain from our online shop.

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