Veľký Šariš lies at an altitude of 269 metres (883 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 25.73 square kilometres (9.9 sq mi). It is located on the Torysa river, 6 kilometres (4 mi) north-north-west from Prešov. There are ruins of Šariš Castle above the city, which were reconstructed in recent years and serve as place for various cultural events, such as music festivals or film festivals.
The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. A Slavic settlement on the castle foot hill is dated to the 9th–10th century, other settlements were unearthed in the area of the town (9th–10th century, 10th–11th century, later abandoned settlement dated to the 12th–13th century) and at the location Dzikov potok (8th–9th century). The first written mention of Veľký Šariš dates back to 1217 (Sarus. The town was a royal town then a landlord town (since 1465).
There is brewery Šariš located in town. The brewery was built in 1964 and is part of group SABMiller, which acquired brewery in 1997. Brewery has around 550 employees.