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Banska Bystrica is a town in the central part of Slovakia, about half way between Bratislava and Kosice. The Hron River splits the town in two, with the biggest and the historical part being on the north bank of the river. Flowing through the Northern part of the town is the Bystrica river, which partially gives the town its name.
Sliač Airport has charter flights to Burgas in Bulgaria and Antalya in Turkey, in summer. Other flights are not available at the moment. The airport is situated to the south of Banska Bystrica, about half way to the town of Zvolen.
The train station is situated about a kilometer to the east from the center of town. It is a junction between the Vrútky–Zvolen railway, which links Banská Bystrica with Zilina and Bratislava, and the Banská Bystrica–Červená Skala railway, which heads east towards Košice. Banská Bystrica mesto railway station is a smaller station located closer to the city center on the south bank of the river, served by trains on the Vrútky-Zvolen line.
The R1 (which splits off the D1 from Bratislava) connects Trnava with Banska Bystrica, also passing the town of Zvolen, 20 kilometres to the south).
Slovak Lines connects Banska Bystrica to Bratislava (2x a day, costs: €11.20 for an Adult, one way ticket), with the trip taking around 3.5 hours.
|Kamzik Aplend||Mistríky Donovaly||Apartment||-|
|Lux Hotel||Namestie Slobody 2||Hotel||-|
|Dixon Hotel||Svermova 32||Hotel||-|
|Narodny Dom||Narodna 11||Hotel||-|
|Grand Matej Hotel||Kammerhofska 5||Hotel||-|
|Penzion Adonai Slovakia||Zvolenska cesta 17||Hotel||100|
|Tatran Aplend||Donovaly 35||Apartment||-|
Wifi and broadband can be found more or less everywhere, and there will be an internet cafe available somewhere even in smaller towns. Also, hostels, pubs, cafes, and some public institutions such as libraries or government buildings offer (free) wifi.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international calling code for Slovakia is +421. In case of an emergency, call the universal number 112. You can also call directly on 150 for fire brigade, 155 in a medical emergency or 158 for the police.
Slovak phones operate on the GSM standard, which covers most of the country, and 3G covers most of the area. The coverage is surprisingly good, and you will often have signal even in mountain areas, unless you are in a deep ravine. There are three main operators - Orange, T-mobile and O2, and they all use 900 or 1800Mhz standard, which might not be compatible with some U.S. phones operating on 1900Mhz.
They all (along with some virtual operators, biggest of which are Funfón and Tesco Mobile) offer a variety of prepaid cards with various "pay as you go" schemes (some market research is advised, if you want the best deal) and incentives. If you have an unlocked phone, these are easy to pick up in any phone shop, or you can purchase a cheap phone with a prepaid card included.
There are still some phone boxes available, but with mobile phones now commonplace, they are declining in number. Also note that you might need to purchase a prepaid card to use some of them.
Slovenská pošta is the national postal service of Slovakia. They have affordable, reliable and relatively fast services. You can choose to send letters/postcards first (express) or second class. Prices start at €0.40 for a second class letter (up to 50 gram) domestically, €0.60 for express services. Within Europe prices start at €0.90 (Czech Republic €0.80), outside Europe prices start at €1.00, all for second class letters/postcards up to 50 grams. Post offices are available in all villages and provide banking services like money transfers as well. The post offices are usually open from Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday until 1:00pm. The main post offices in larger towns or shopping malls are open daily to 8:00pm. It is possible to buy post stamps for post cards and letters directly in the post offices or in some newspaper stands.
You can use parcels services with Slovenská Posta as well, although you might be better off with companies like UPS, TNT, FedEx or DHL, which offer similar prices, but usually faster and more reliable services.
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