Prague Castle stays in top spot for tourists

CzechTourism's efforts to get more people to visit the regions is paying off, though

Prague Castle was again the most visited tourist attraction in 2017 in the Czech Republic. There was also more interest in locations in the regions, according to state agency CzechTourism.

Prague took six of the top 10 spots on CzechTourism's list.

“The highest popularity, in general, is in tourist attractions in Prague, which is largely due to the high number of visitors by foreign tourists. The list is topped by Prague Castle, which is attractive especially for families with children, and attracts both foreign and domestic visitors,” CzechTourism director Monika Palatková said in a press release.

Prague Castle had 2.38 million visitors in 2017, up 13.2 percent from 2016.

The second-most visited attraction was the funicular in Petřín, with 2.07 million, up 17.9 percent, followed by Prague Zoo, with 1.45 million, down 0.2 percent. AquaPalace Praha was fourth with 835,900, down 18.3 percent.

The first location outside of Prague was Aqualand Moravia in Pasohlávky, at fifth place with 721,000 visitors.

The top ten is completed by, in order, the Petřín Tower, the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, and the zoos in Zlín, Dvůr Králové nad Labem and Ostrava.

“In addition to well-known destinations such as zoos or water parks, attractions in the regions are becoming more and more popular. Significant increases in visitors were recorded in the iQLandia science center in Liberec, Landek Park [mining museum] in Ostrava and Stezka korunami stromů [nature viewing tower] in Lipno,” CzechTourism director Monika Palatková said in a press release.

The biggest increase was at the Škoda muzeum in Mladá Boleslav, up 31 percent to reach 39th place in the top 50 list. The biggest decline was Old Town Hall in Prague, down 56.5 percent, due to parts being closed for renovation.

Places without tickets or monitored entries, such as Charles Bridge, are not counted in the list, as there is no way to accurately count visitors.

CzechTourism, a part of the Ministry for Regional Development, has been trying to get more people to visit areas outside of Prague to reduce overcrowding in the capital.

Destinations in the regions have been advertised through 23 foreign offices of the CzechTourism agency.

The CzechTourism office in South Korea is promoting the South Moravian region and trying to inform people about less-known tourist destinations in the adjacent mountain areas.

An important tool for promoting lesser-known destinations is the 14-year-old portal, operated by CzechTourism. Since the beginning of 2018, the portal has had nearly 10 million visits. The site confirms that tourists are most interested in destinations suitable for families with children, cultural offerings and summer activities in nature, CzechTourism spokeswoman Renata Kasalová said.

Another agency activity to highlight the potential of the regions is the DestinaCZe competition. The winner of the sixth year of the competition this year has Stezka korunami stromů.

CzechTourism also released some other rankings, aside from the top 50 list. The most popular architectural site was Obecní dům (the Municipal House) in Prague, with Brno's Vila Tugendhat coming next.

The most popular memorial site was the ossuary at the Church of All Saints in Kutná Hora – Sedlec, commonly called the Bone Church. This was followed by the Terezín memorial and the Lidice memorial, both dedicated to tragic events in World War II.

Prague Castle was the most popular castle, followed by the chateau in Český Krumlov.

The most popular museum was Forest, Game and Fishing Museum at zámek Ohrada in Hluboká nad Vltavou. The New Building of the National Museum in Prague came in second.

Dům Štěpánka Netolického in Třeboň was the most popular museum about a person. It is dedicated to fish pond builder Josef Štěpánek Netolický. The Bedřich Smetana Museum in Prague was second.

The interest in domestic vacations has increased steadily over the last three years. In 2014, some 7.5 million domestic tourists were recorded in the Czech Republic, which rose to 9.8 million in 2017. 

Related article:
Prague Castle tops list of tourist attractions | Prague TV 01.02.2018

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