Town Guide: Považská Bystrica

It rather says something about a town when its most striking feature is a massive highway overpass. Welcome to Považská Bystrica, the town whose name I can barely spell and definitely can’t pronounce, where the major landmark is a stretch of regional highway that wants absolutely nothing to do with Považská Bystrica.

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Size and Population || Covering an area of about 90 km², Považská Bystrica boasts a population of 40,569 inhabitants

Places of Interest

Považská Bystrica’s Town Center is one of the most depressing places on earth. The center was demolished and rebuilt completely, leaving none of the charming historical buildings that characterize most Slovak towns. Three concrete shopping centers, two of them dating back at least twenty years, stand in a row between two empty highrises, one of which is filled with asbestos.

Some three and a half kilometers outside the town proper, the Považská Castle is (under contstruction)

The narrowest canyon in Slovakia is the Maninska Gorge, located about six kilometers northeast of Považská Bystrica. According to every source, the canyon is a beautiful place–in basically every season except winter. Needless to say, with classes running until 5 pm, I did not have the chance to actually see it.

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Inns and Taverns || The Hotel Student, a hotel academy, which trains students for jobs in hospitality, is a worker’s hostel with beds available for 8 euro a night. Across the main road, in one of the towns shopping centers, Caffe 33 and the City Restaurant provide coffee, wifi, and food in various qualities and quantities. And if you’re interested in something stronger, there’s Revolutions, the kitschiest soviet-themed bar you will ever visit in your lifetime, guaranteed.

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