Based on the political and territorial organization of the Republic of Srpska, which consists of municipalities and cities, the biggest political and territorial unit is the City of Banja Luka (former municipality), which occupies the surface of 1 239 km2. As the university, economic, finance, political and administrative center of the Republic of Srpska, which is one of the two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Banja Luka is the second biggest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the population of 180.053 (results of the 2013 census of population and housing units).
Situated in a valley at an elevation of 164 m above sea level, where the Dinaric Alps from the south descend into the Pannonian Basin in the north, Banja Luka has a temperate continental climate with the prevailing influences from the Pannonian plain. It belongs to the Central European Time zone (GMT +1). The average annual temperature reaches 10,7°C, since the average January temperature is 0,8ºC, and July 21,3ºC.
Due to many of its green surfaces – parks and tree-lined roads, Banja Luka is also known as the city of greenery. It is also called a city of young people, sport and culture. It used to be a strong economic center with developed industry – the machinery, electrical, textile, food and cellulose industry in particular. The past war calamities that struck the city in the 1992-1995 period and the post-war society transition resulted in the collapse of a majority of the industrial capacities and markets.
The post-war Banja Luka started to open up more extensively to market economy countries, directing its development prospects towards the progress of trade, tourism, agriculture and food industry.
The city`s holiday, the Day of Banja Luka, is celebrated on April 22, which is the date when Banja Luka was liberated from fascism in WWII. The following awards and recognitions have been established for the city’s holiday: the Key of the City of Banja Luka, with the Charter “Honorary Citizen of the City of Banja Luka”; Gold emblem of the city of Banja Luka; Banja Luka City plaque and Banja Luka City Youth Award.