The city of Banská Bystrica is the center of the Mid-Slovakia region with administrative, economic, and cultural significance. It lies in the middle of Europe on the banks of the river Hron surrounded by the wonderful scenery of Low Tatras, Kremnicke vrchy, and Slovenske Rudohorie mountains. The history of the city is connected with mining. In the 15th century, Banská Bystrica was the European metropolis in mining, processing, and trading with copper. It was a very rich city, what can be seen in the architecture of the city center with the Castle complex and historical houses alongside the whole main SNP Square going down to the Europa Shopping center.
Most tourists come during the summer, when the city attracts them with a variety of cultural and sports events, such as festivals, exhibitions, or concerts. The surroundings of Banská Bystrica are as if they were made solely for tourism. In winter, these surrounding mountains change into a little snow paradise as there are many ski resorts. The most notable feature of Banská Bystrica is that due to the presence of Matej Bel University it is a predominantly university city with a substantial amount of students living and studying in the centers of its faculties in different parts of it. Apart from that, the many cultural institutions such as theatres, cinemas, cafés, non-governmental organizations, and language institutes offer an array of cultural events, free time, and volunteering activities each week.