Slovakia : Banska Bystrica

Slovakia : Banska Bystrica
After covering Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland in my blog, it's time to explore Slovakia. Despite the limited time, we had the chance to visit the beautiful country for half a day, focusing on the peaceful town of Banska Bystrica. It's a shame we couldn't spend more time, but I hope to revisit Slovakia in the future.

About Slovakia 


Slovakia, officially known as the Slovak Republic, is a captivating landlocked country nestled in the heart of Central Europe. While it may not have sandy beaches, it boasts a wealth of natural beauty and cultural treasures beyond its charming capital, Bratislava. With its northern and central regions adorned with majestic mountains, the western hills, and the fertile Danube basin in the south, Slovakia offers a diverse and stunning landscape.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted to discover over 6,000 caves, nine pristine national parks, and 14 protected landscapes that grace the country. For those with a penchant for history and romance, Slovakia boasts an impressive 180 castles and 425 chateaux, each with its own unique story to tell.

Slovakia offers travellers a rich tapestry of experiences, from enchanting castles and mystical caves to rejuvenating hot springs and folk architecture. Be sure to explore the "European Dead Sea," wander the streets of a renowned Celtic town, and immerse yourself in the pristine European wilderness.

One fascinating Slovak tradition is the celebration of name days. In Slovakia, each day of the year is associated with one or two names, and when it's your name day, you can anticipate warm wishes, heartfelt cards, and sometimes even thoughtful gifts from family and friends. Name days are a significant part of Slovak culture, and people often postpone their celebrations to the weekend to make it a grand affair. Although this tradition has religious origins linked to the Catholic calendar of saints, it has evolved into a more secular and widely observed custom in Slovakia.

Banska Bystrica

Banská Bystrica, known in German as Neusohl and in Hungarian as Besztercebánya, is a historic town situated in the heart of central Slovakia. Nestled in the picturesque Hron River valley and enveloped by the beauty of the surrounding mountains, Banská Bystrica holds a rich and storied past. Dating back to ancient times, it gained prominence in the 13th century when it was officially chartered as a town. Notably, it became a vital mining centre during this period, leaving an indelible mark on its history and development.

uring the 15th and 16th centuries, a period marked by Gothic and Renaissance architectural influences, the town flourished. Notable examples of this era include the Gothic-style burghers' houses and the well-preserved castle group located at the town's core. These centuries were characterized by a thriving mining industry, with silver and copper mines from Banská Bystrica being instrumental in supplying a significant portion of the European market.

Cerveny Rak

Located at house number 13 on Namesti SNP in Banska Bystrica, Pivarne Cerveny Rak offers a delightful atmosphere where guests can immerse themselves in the rich history of brewing one of the oldest and finest beers in Banska Bystrica.

The name Cerveny Rak has been intertwined with Banska Bystrica for centuries, closely linked with Juraj Krebs, the proprietor of house number 15. Krebs, renowned both as an innkeeper and a member of the city's outer council, elevated his establishment to such prominence through his expertise and exceptional inn services that it became a benchmark for all subsequent Krebs establishments. Legend even has it that King Matej Korvin himself graced the Rak with his presence.

We decided to try lime juice, garlic soup, grilled salmon, and fish and chips. Being a garlic enthusiast, I was intrigued by the garlic soup with cheese and bacon and suggested we order it since I've never tasted garlic soup before. Although it turned out to be delicious, it was unexpectedly spicy for both of us, with an intense garlic aroma that caught us by surprise!

My mom thoroughly enjoyed her grilled salmon, while I savoured every bite of my fish and chips. Despite the fish skin being unexpectedly soft instead of crispy, it still managed to impress us with its delicious flavour.

Location : Námestie SNP 1 974 01 Banská Bystrica Slovakia.
Business hours : Mon - Sat (11.00am - 10.00pm) ; Sun (11.00am - 3.00pm)

That concludes our exploration of Slovakia. I'm excited to share the next and final country of this trip, Hungary, in the upcoming post. Be sure to check out the Eastern Europe travel vlog and catch up on the blog posts covering other countries if you haven't already. Until next time, ciao~

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For more photos, search the hashtag #ShiniInSlovakia on Instagram. There, you can also find additional details about my personal experiences during the trip.