This week, I will tell you about the awesome Central Slovakia and how you can make your own trip there for a very good price, like spending the whole weekend for around 50€ (all included)
I tell you this from my own experience, Slovakia can be a really good deal and a perfect place to explore if you have the right tools and some small time for planification.
For example, Banska Bystrica is about 3h by bus from Bratislava, and Banska Stiavnica a little bit more. To go there, the best option is to go to cpatlas.sk and choose the bus that suits you better, notice that in Slovakia tickets are not just limited to seats so be fast in your booking if you dont want to be standing for 3 hours. And for acomodation, in Banska Bystrica there is not a real problem for the location, since the town is easily walkable from most places, but for Banska Stiavnica I recomend to check the map first, because since it is in a mountain, the village is shaped like a snake, having 35 min from one side to another and also going uphill, so be close to the upper area where the main attractions are, in the down part there is just the bus stop, so nothing interesting apart from transportation
In Banska Bystrica there are enought things to see to take you one morning or one afternoon with calm, I was there for 3,5h and I can say it was enought for me. The bus stop is around 10 minutes walking from the city centre but before you reach it you will find the SNP museum, about the Slovak Uprising of the WW2, I highly recomend it because is 1€ for students to see the main exposition, and they have a huge collection of weapons and uniforms from many countries in that time, (from Nazi Germany to USA Paratroopers going through Italian and British). But the best is outside since they have about 8 tanks and armored vehicles from both sides of the war in good conditions, you can also climb on them! They have a Soviet Airdrop plane too, you can go inside for 0,5€ and they will play an audio for you to feel like flying as the plane did in its old days.
But if military stuff is not for you, simply continue walking towards the centre and you will soon appear in the main square, where the are a lot of things to see. First it will surprise you the amount of towers you will see, they got all 'tall' buildings (concentrados) there, the main ones are the town hall, main church and astronomical tower (in which you can get in), but there are more! The square also features a original water fountain which changes its water display every minute, creating cool performances. At the end of the square you will find a black obelisk which is a second world war memorial.
This square has a nice secret, at the begining of a new hour, the astronomical tower will play a nice melody, don't miss it!
Apart from the main square, there is a small castle (Barbikan) in one corner of the square, which behind has another big church (with a pretty nice painted ceiling) and a walled cementery (which actually is pretty beautiful, for beign a cementery).
There are more things to see like nice houses, cozy streets... But you will find on yourself when you will walk.
This town is a must, the city centre as well as Kalvaria are UNESCO Heritage sites, so you won't be disapointed at all. The town is in the mountain and adapts itself to it as well as the road (remember the booking recomendations). It features two castles, several churches, rich history, interesting statues and finally the Kalvaria, a big church in the top of a hill wich seems to have just pop out from a fairytale book.
Most of attractions have very good prices as well as student discount, for example I payed just 1,5€ to see the old castle, which I consider to be a curious visit as well as a nice viewpoint (from the top of the main gate tower). The upper part of the village is crowned by the New Castle, which looks more than a church, but if you pay attention you will see its guardtower shape, and you also have an amazing viewpoint from there.
But everything is not about beautiful castles and churches, the village also has very nice cafes and restaurants in the town centre, as well as very good chocolate shops, all with a fair price so you can afford to have a (capricho)
And finally, dont forget to go to Kalvaria, is 2 km from town so you can either go walking or by taxi.
There are many other villages and towns in this region, which can be explored as you want, but try to know a little bit about them before you go if you dont want to be disapointed, for example Zvolen has a castle and a big armored train from the '44, but if you have been in Banska Bystrica earlier, it may not be that interesting.
I hope you liked this guide! Stay tuned for more!
In this section you will find all you need to become a little expert in the guide place, without expending a lot!