The city of Prague welcomed 4% more tourists last year. The number of conferences however decreased by 10% while the number of participants stayed the same.
Known as the historical pearl of Europe and one of the world's most beautiful cities, Prague, as the capital of the Czech Republic, is its cultural and economic core. With a wealth of monuments and great variety of architecture, Prague has gained a well-earned reputation as a fine tourist destination.
Despite the depressed economic climate, there was approximately 4% increase in Prague's hotel occupancy in 2011 as compared to 2010. By far, the greatest number of hotel guests visiting Prague were from Germany, with a great number of visitors from Russia, Italy, France, United Kingdom and the United States of America following closely behind. Quite a few people from Poland, the Netherlands, Austria, the Slovak Republic, China, and Japan also visited Prague in 2011.
There were over 3800 conferences (-10% on 2010) held at Prague hotels in 2011, with over half a million participants (-0.4% on 2010) staying at the hotel accommodations. As a matter of fact, 2011 saw Prague as one of Europe's most visited city!
Visitors to Prague are most impressed with some of its historic and cultural monuments such as The Prague Castle, dating back to the 9th century, the world's biggest ancient castle. This is a huge complex containing fortifications, residential structures, and courtyards that once housed the kings of Bohemia. Here also is the gothic cathedral that took 600 years to build, St. Vitus, as well as St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral, containing prized works of art and the coronation jewels.
Most impressive also is the oldest bridge in Prague, Charles Bridge, dating back to the 14th century. There are towers on either end of the bridge with many sculptures on the piers that cross over the Vltava River running through the city. The Lesser Town Bridge entrance has two towers, one Romanesque and one Gothic. The Old Town Bridge Tower is one of Europe's most admired examples of Gothic design.
Among other popular attractions dating back to the 14th century is the Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. All of the town's important proceedings were held here and still are. Much of the building's ornate décor is authentic and many paintings that decorate the walls date back to the 15th century.
Prague has become an important and exciting urban tourism destination. As a major transport hub in Central Europe, visitors will find many airline flights to accommodate them from their countries of origin, and the city's mass transportation system, MHD, functions well.