Walk in the historical footsteps of over 2,000 years in Kempten, one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria. The Allgäu metropolis is one of the oldest towns in Germany. The small town in Bavaria impresses with award-winning culture, lovingly designed green spaces and the largest shopping centre in the Allgäu.
Street art and graffiti as a welcoming committee
Kempten is not only known for being one of the oldest cities in Germany, but is also considered the "metropolis of the Allgäu", which can be reached perfectly by train and is therefore ideally suited for a day trip: Your discovery tour of Kempten's sights starts at Kempten railway station - but before you embark on a historical journey through time, pay a visit to the "Hall of Fame" in the Kempten railway station subway. It is one of four open spaces for young street artists and graffiti artists. You can find more artworks in the western part of the city at three subways along Lindauer Straße.
Germany's best local history museum is at home in Kempten
The path leads you into the city towards the Kempten Museum, which is located in the magnificent palace of the listed Zumsteinhaus. The 25-minute walk takes you along Bahnhofstraße for the first 900 metres. Shopping fans can make a short stop after 600 metres at the Forum Allgäu - the largest shopping centre in the region. Then continue straight ahead at the corner of Mozartstraße onto Königstraße until you reach the museum entrance after 500 metres through the city park on Residenzplatz.
Kempten's sights and tips include an award-winning history experience: in 2020, the Kempten Museum prevailed among 250 applications and may now officially adorn itself with the award "Germany's best local history museum". Here you will find, among other things, a walk-through map of the town, 100 historical events from Roman times to the present day, interactive stations and eleven exhibition rooms that vividly tell of power, migration, health and other topics. Admission to the barrier-free building is free of charge and the changing special exhibitions always open up a new world to visitors.
Impressive towers and grey slippers in magnificent rooms
Kempten's landmark - the Basilica of St. Lorenz- stands in the immediate vicinity of the museum. The mighty double-towered façade of the Baroque building towers impressively over the roofs of the adventure metropolis and, together with the huge dome, shapes the cityscape. In the basilica, the stucco objects, some of which are fully sculptural, and the intricately carved choir stalls with their rare stucco marble elements cast a spell over the visitors.
Within sight is the Kempten Residence, the first baroque monastery complex in Germany, built after the Thirty Years' War. A special attraction and a real Kempten tip are the state rooms of the Residenz. To protect the inlaid parquet flooring, explore the magnificent rooms in grey felt slippers. The pompous furnishings with crystal chandeliers, gold ornaments and stucco bring the splendour of early Bavarian rococo back to life. After so much splendour, the baroque palace garden Hofgarten in the northern part of the Residenz invites visitors to relax. The former monastery kitchen garden is now a popular oasis of peace for locals and guests alike.
Nativity scene exhibitions and city festivals in and around the town hall fountain
The tour continues to the historic town hall. The listed building, erected in 1474, is barely 500 metres away. With its two pointed towers and vaulted bonnets, it can be seen from afar and is a popular photo motif. In winter, the town hall square forms the centre of the Christmas market. Incidentally, the octagonal fountain with the bronze sculpture on the east side functions as an exhibition space for the nativity scenes of the Krippenbauschule Kempten e.V. during the Christmas season. The annual town festival withnumerous open-air concerts, exciting hands-on activities and colourful food and drink offers also takes place on the town hall square and throughout the town centre. The town hall building also houses the tourist information office and, directly in front of it, a plaque with the original wording about the oldest written mention of a town in Germany.
Sweet "sins" in the imperial realm
Directly opposite the town hall is a real Kempten tip that you shouldn't miss during your visit. The fairytale ambience of Café's Sissi invites you to enjoy homemade cakes and tarts. Kaiserschmarren fans and tarte flambée lovers get their money's worth in the pink empress's realm, as do wine connoisseurs. Be sure to treat yourself to a little time out in this enchanting confectionery.
The highest tower and the chapel underground
After the imperial coffee break, the path leads just 120 metres further to St-Mang-Platz. The 66-metre-high bell tower of the Evangelical Lutheran parish church of the same name shows you the way. On the church square you will see the St. Mang fountain, built in 1905 in the Art Nouveau style, with a sculpture of St. Magnus of Füssen, who is considered the apostle of the Allgäu. The stag, hind, ibex and unicorn on the outside of the fountain complete the historic structure. The exhibition in the Erasmus Chapel, another spectacular Kempten sight, is considered a cultural spectacle. It was discovered by chance almost 20 years ago in the course of the redesign of St.-Mang-Platz. To get to the showroom, there are 23 steps leading down. Immerse yourself in the 700-year history of the former cemetery chapel - presented in a modern multimedia show.
Finally: Allgäu delicacies
So many new impressions make you hungry: walk from the Erasmus Chapel back towards the Sissi Café along the Rathausplatz. Cross Kronenstraße and follow Rathausstraße until you find yourself in front of the Schalander restaurant after a five-minute walk. From March to October, you can enjoy the regional specialities on the terrace next to the staircase and watch the hustle and bustle in the pedestrian zone. In the colder months, you can enjoy the home-style atmosphere inside. The menu mainly features hearty, typical Swabian dishes. Great value is placed on fresh, regional ingredients.
After exploring the most beautiful sights, your route in Kempten takes you out of town along Fischersteige and from there along Fischerstraße directly back to Bahnhofstraße and Kempten train station. From here you head back home, with many new impressions of the historic Allgäu metropolis of Kempten.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.