A picturesque town Bardejov lies on the foothill of Nízke Beskydy (Lower Beskyds) on the junction of the rivers Topľa and Lukavica in the attitude 277 m above sea level. The first written record dates back to the 1241 and can be find it in the Ipatyiev Chronicle. Further written record is in the document of the Ugrian king Béla IV. and is dated to the 1247. In this time period this area was populated by Cistercian monks whom the king confirmed the ownership of the area. In the year 1269 becomes Bardejov again a royal hacienda. At the turns of the 13th and 14th century German (Silesian) colonists settled here. In the 14th century was Bardejov a tow that received from Karol Robert important privileges. In the year 1376 was Bardejov promoted to a free royal town. In the 15th century the development of the town has continued and this was the era that we can call the golden era of Bardejov, in this era Bardejov has reached its biggest boom. There were 64 handicrafts, 51 crafts and 146 crafts masters. The town had 3 000 inhabitants, owned vineyards, sawmills, mills, glass plants, breweries and a salt storage. In the 16th century an era of biggest boom of science, culture and art has occurred. In the 17th and 18th century the town has experienced a fall that was caused by the Hussitian and brotherhood riots, anti Turkish wars, anti Habsburg professional rebellions, pest plaque and expansive fires. A mild resurrection happened in the 19th century when the railway, hotel and hospital was built, but in the years 1878 and 1902 the town was hit by most destructive fires in the history and shortly after, the industrial position of Bardejov was worsen by the 1st and 2nd World War.
Among the most remarkable historical monuments of Bardejov we can include the national cultural monument Bazilika Minor Sv. Egidius (Basilica Minor St. Egidius). Fist written records dated back to the 13th century and the building is the peak of late-gothic. The 76 m high tower belongs to the highest in Slovak republic. The interior is decorated by 11 original gothic altars, where the main altar St. Egidius reaches the height of 17 m and is the highest in Slovak republic. The cathedral has changed its owner many times and went through numerous reconstructions; present form was obtained in the end of 19th century. Next remarkable building is the gothic-renaissance town hall, built in the years 1505 – 1511 and is the dominance of the historical center. On its cornice were installed 118 sculptures and on its top a statue of the knight Roland. In the past it was the seat of City Council and it was the center of cultural, business and social life. In the present there is a museum. Around the historical square are buildings with gothic-renaissance architecture signs. The town was in the past surrounded with a system of walls with water moat and 23 bastions; this belongs in the present to the most well-preserved fortification systems in Slovakia. The town monumental reservation together with the Jewish suburb was in the year 2000 written into the list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage UNESCO.
District town Bardejov with more then 33 thousand inhabitants is the center of Upper Šariš and is situated on the northern part of Prešov region. We can find here a high range of services, many cultural – social, leisure and sport facilities, for example museums, open-air museum, show-rooms, libraries, cinema, internet clubs, disco clubs, facilities for children and youth, sport hall, winter stadium, town stadium, indoor swimming pools, summer outdoor swimming pools, mini golf, tennis courts, fitness clubs, horse riding schools, ski centers, oxygen roads. The services for tourists are provided by tourist – information centers, post, banks, exchange offices, travel agencies and agencies, fuel stations, LPG, car services and vehicle rescues, pharmacies, optics, shoe repair shops, cloth repair shops, watchmakers, dry cleaners, and other. In the town there are many schools and other educational institutions and two universities. After the transformation of economy to market oriented economy, the development in the district was drifted towards the establishment of private companies and entrepreneurs. The industry is oriented mostly on leather industry, machine engineering, timber processing and food industry. A strong position in the town has the spa.
A part of the town is also Bardejovské Kúpele (Bardejov Spa), where the beauty of cultural-historical monuments and healing effects of the mineral waters is in harmony. The history of the Spa is closely-associated with Bardejov. The first written record is dated back to the year 1505 when the healing effects of the mineral waters were already known and the first spa cabins very built. Many significant personalities were cured here; between others the second wife of the emperor Napoleon I. Maria Luiza and the empress Elisabeth called Sisi. The development of the Spa was interrupted by the Fist World War and an intensive development began again in the second half of the 20th century. Visitors of the spa can find here not only the healing powers of the procedures but also a colorful cultural-social life. In nearby spa you can admire an outdoor-museum, the beauty of wooden churches in nearby villages Frička, Lukov, Krivé, Jedlinka, Hervartov, Tročany or Kožany. Mountain chain Nízke Beskydy and Čergov offer possibilities for tourism in summer and in winter. Beside natural attractions like Becherovská tisina, Regetovské rašelinisko (peat moor), Čergovský Minčol, Slatina pod Lieskovcom in the part of Bardejovská Nová Ves or the 700 years old oak in the village Dubinné where the tourist can wander up to nearby Poland. In summer for the visitors are available summer outdoor swimming pools in the town, spa and Nižná Polianka, wide spread is hunting, fishing and horse riding. For the lovers of cycling there are in summer possibilities for bicycle tourism and in winter for those who like skiing there are many ski lifts and cross-country tracks in the ski resorts Regetovka, Stebnícka huta, Nižná Polianka and Bardejovské Kúpele (Bardejov Spa).