The Czech Republic is rising as one of the premier tourist locations in Eastern Europe, primarily due to the draw of Prague. Prague, the largest city and capital of the Czech Republic receives over 4.1 million visitors annually. It has served as the political, cultural, and economic base of the Czech empire for over 1100 years. Overall, the income from tourism composes a significant portion of the Czech GNP (5.5%), and makes up 9.3% of its overall export earnings. Tourists that visit the Czech Republic overwhelmingly choose Prague, with over seventy percent of total tourists choosing to stay there. So what makes Prague so appealing to tourists that it can generate a substantial portion of the Czech Republic's GNP?

Prague really appeals to tourists because it has unique historically-rooted architecture, friendly people and good food, but most importantly, many of its attractions are cheap. The recent global economic downturn has seen many tourists tightening their purse strings. However, going and seeing historical structures or architectural wonders requires relatively little money. While Prague's overall number of tourists declined by 10% in 2009, this doesn't necessarily reflect a lack of interest in Prague, but rather a concerted effort by consumers worldwide to save money, no matter how cheap the attractions are.

Although down at the moment, the Czech tourist market will rebound stronger than ever. The markets having recovered, and people still being somewhat frugal, Pragues' cheap attractions will prove to be a major draw. Furthermore, although Prague has an overall low crime rate, the mayor has still announced a campaign to crack down on petty crime. Such dedication shows indecisive tourists a real commitment to providing a safe, enjoyable tourism experience. Oh yes, and there's also the content of Prague itself: its attractions.

Perhaps Prague’s most famous tourist attractions are its Dancing House and Astronomical Clock. The Dancing House is an architectural wonder, shaped like a curvy hourglass, providing a stark, modernistic contrast to the overall rustic look of many of Prague’s buildings. At the top of the Dancing House lies one of the city’s leading restaurants, which provides a great view of the Prague Castle.The Astronomical Clock dates back from the fifteenth century. The clock consists of an astronomical dial, a presentation of statues of the twelve Apostles at the doorways above the clock, with all twelve presented every hour, and lastly, a calendar dial, with medallions representing each month. For more of Prague, check out the video below!



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