The vast majority of Czechs spend their vacations close to home
Pictured: Sněžka Hill, Krkonoše, Czech Republic

The vast majority of Czechs spend their vacations close to home

Most Czechs don’t travel very far for vacations, and that is typical for people in the European Union.

Some 80 percent of Czechs travel domestically, according to Eurostat.



Across the EU, about three-quarters of people stay in their own country. “Some 73.3 percent [of trips] were domestic trips but in terms of nights spent and expenditure, domestic trips accounted for 56.1 percent and 42.7 percent of the total respectively,” Eurostat states, based in 2017 figures.

“For most EU countries, the domestic market was dominant; only for Belgium, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia this was not the case. Belgian and Luxembourgish tourists made more outbound trips to one single foreign country (France) than those made inside their own country,” Eurostat said, adding that compared to 2016, the number of tourist trips of the EU population increased by 4 percent.

Romanians spend most of their time traveling domestically, at 94 percent, while less than 2 percent of people from tiny Luxembourg stay home.

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The most popular destinations, in terms of nights spent, within the EU for people who travel outside their home country is Spain, followed by Italy, France, Germany and Greece. The Czech Republic ranked 12th as a destination for non-Czech EU citizens, getting 2 percent of the total overnight stays.

Cesky Krumlov, Bohemia, Czech Republic - May 03, 2017: Picturesque medieval Krumlov Castle in Cesky Krumlov on the banks of the Vltava River, Bohemia, Czech Republic. High observation tower and bell tower. Ancient classical architecture of Central Europe.
Český Krumlov

The most popular destinations for EU residents leaving the EU are the US, Switzerland and Turkey. “Destinations outside Europe made up only 15.1 percent of all outbound trips: 5.8 percent to America, 5.1 percent to Asia and 3.7 percent to Africa. Only 0.5 percent of trips had Oceania as a destination,” Eurostat stated.

“Behind the average at EU level, big differences were observed; at least one in five outbound trips made by British tourists had a destination outside Europe while no more than 5 percent of Bulgarian, Croatian, Maltese, Romanian or Slovenian trips were to another continent,” Eurostat added.

Cars are the preferred means of transport for most EU residents, while the French and Germans prefer to travel by train. Only people who live on islands prefer planes.

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It is hard to separate business for pleasure travel. In 2017, EU residents made 1.255 billion trips for personal or professional purposes and spent 6.374 billion nights during those trips. Tourist expenditure amounted to EUR 505.172 billion.

Czech cottage

For Czechs, going to the cottage is still a big destination, but increasingly it is not to the family cottage but to a rented one in another location so people can experience something new. Cottages with swimming pools or access to water recreation are in particular demand.

The Czech Republic has lots to explore, and recently two new UNESCO World Heritage Sites were added, bringing the country’s total to 14.

For Czechs that travel abroad, Croatia is still the top country, followed by Slovakia, Italy, Greece, Austria and Egypt, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ).

Separate figures from NMS Market Research suggests that 47 percent of Czech people plan their holidays long in advance and 37 percent who leave it at the last minute. Less than a fifth go to the same place as previously and do not have to plan anything.

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dolni vitkovice
Technical monument at Dolní Vítkovice. via Raymond Johnston

Prague Castle was again the most visited tourist destination in the Czech Republic last year. According to CzechTourism, the order of the other two places has not changed compared to the previous year. The second is the funicular on Petřín, and the third is the Prague Zoo.

Fourth place went to the technical monument at Dolní Vítkovice in Ostrava, in the Moravia Silesia region. The former ironworks has become popular due in part to the Colours of Ostrava music festival.

Czechs still tend to organize their own vacations. Some 2.5 million Czechs made their own arrangements, while just over 2 million used a travel agency.

Raymond Johnston

Prague-based journalist with over three decades of media experience writing about culture, business, and travel. Folktale and legend expert, and avid photographer. Follow him on Instagram at @raymondjohnston4 or visit his blog magicbohemia.com.

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