The origin of the town lies in the Roman military fort of Cambodonum and the town now uses its Roman heritage to attract visitors. Kempten was an Imperial free city of the Holy Roman Empire until the Napoleonic wars. The population was largely Lutheran from the Reformation but ruled by prince abbots located in the Neustadt, above the Altstadt which lies along the Iller.
As the largest city in the Allgau, Kempten is home to several sights of interest to visitors:
- 1 St. Lorenz Basilica. The cathedral in Neustadt. It is connected to the Residence.
- 2 The Residence (Residenz), Residenzplatz 4-6 (next to the cathedral), ☏ . The construction of the church and residence started in 1652. The rooms are a great example from the Rococo period. At the same location was a Benedictine monastery from 750, which was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War. Access only by guided tour (in German), which starts every 45 min. Nowadays, parts of the building are used as court building. Adults €3.50.
- 3 Hofgarten (next to the cathedral).
- 4 Alpine Museum (Alpin-Museum), Landwehrstraße 4, ☏ . Mar-Oct: Tue-Sun 10:00-16:00, Mon closed. Also well worth visiting is the Alpine Museum with informative exhibits (German only) on mountain climbing, mountain life, geology and biology of the region. In the same building (and included in the admission) is the Alpine Gallery, a branch of the Bavarian National Museum, with numerous treasures of the late middle ages. Adults €4.
- 5 City Hall (Rathaus).
- 6 St. Mang Church.
- Flea markets are held every two to three weeks at different venues around the city.
- Jazzfrühling. A jazz festival is held late April.
- Allgäu Comets. The Allgäu Comets play American Football in the first division German Football League and draw crowds in excess of 2000 people for home games. The season runs roughly April-September with playoffs in late September / early October. They play their home games at 1 Illerstadion.
- Goldenes Ross, Bäckerstraße 25 (located near St. Mang). Offers a range of local specialties, with a special emphasis on fresh water fish from local rivers, which distinguishes in from the competition. The bachsaibling (brook trout) comes especially recommended.
- 1 L'Osteria, Bahnhofstraße 1, ☏ .
- 2 Miss Saigon, Strigelstraße 1, ☏ .
- 3 Meckatzer Bräu-Engel, Prälat-Götz-Straße 17.
- 4 Zum Stift, Stiftsplatz 1, ☏ .
- 5 Schalander, Fischersteige 9, ☏ .
- 6 Altstadtwirtschaft, Rathausplatz 8, ☏ .
- 7 Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Füssener Str. 96, ☏ .
- Bayerischer Hof, Füssener Str.96 (across the Iller from the only remaining gate from the middle ages). It reportedly dates to 1472, but includes all the modern conveniences, including a fine restaurant specializing in Swabian specialities.
- 1 Green Living Inn, Konrad-Zuse-Weg 1-2.
- 2 Gästehaus bei den Birken, Goethestraße 25, ☏ .
- 3 Smart Motel, Edisonstraße 4.
- 4 Hotel Peterhof, Salzstraße 1.
- 5 Hotel Fürstenhof, Rathausplatz 8.
- 6 Hotel Gasthof Waldhorn, Steufzgen 80.
- 7 Landhotel Hirsch, Lenzfrieder Straße 55.
- Lermoos — ski resort over the border with Austria that can easily be reached with a direct train connection.