Považská Bystrica is situated in a fold of mountain ranges Strážovské vrchy (1213 m) and Javorníky (1071 m a.s.l.). Mountains offer an attractive experience to trekkers and mountain-bikers in summer season, cross-country and skiing opportunities in winter season. Veľký Manín mountain (890 m a.s.l.) dominates the town skyline providing views from most places in the town. On the hill next to the town on the opposite side of the river Váh lies the ruins of Považský hrad castle with two manor houses beneath, to which the town’s history is closely bounded.
Another popular tourist attraction close to the town is a breathtaking canyon Manínska tiesňava. Canyon splits Veľký and Malý Manín mountains. It is an internationally sought-after place-to-die for rock climbers. It is also less known as one of the filming sites for The NeverEnding Story in 1984. Just a few kilometers away lies another highly challenging reef formation: Súľovské skaly. To sum it up one of the most famous Slovak spas Rajecké Teplice lies about 20 km from the town, few kilometres closer are the youngest spas in Slovakia in Nimnica. Town has mostly postmodern architecture meaning that most of the pre-20th-century buildings were replaced in the 1960s and 1980s.Motorway viaduct above the town
Považská Bystrica lies on the major traffic route Bratislava – Žilina causing many traffic jams in the recent years. The motorway viaduct was built through the narrowest segment of the town, which was opened on 31 May 2010.