Ems (although the locals prefer to spell it ems) is a former penal colony created by heavy-handed president-for-life-plus-twenty General Pica, whose Justified Party ruled San Serriffe during the Cold War period. Anyone with two Ms in his name was sent here for incarceration and "re-education" (mostly spelling and pineapple farming).
Highway 2 passes less than 20 miles from Ems, on the way to the tourist information office at the peak of Mount Linotype.
Navigating around the city of Ems is quite easy, as all streets are organized in a grid. Streets in a north-south direction are named after letters of the alphabet, whereas streets travelling in an east-west direction are numbered. There are also a few diagonal streets in the city, which are named after famous pornographers.
The city is known for a lot of facts. Many movies were shot here and there are prostitutes at almost every street corner. The local government also supports this operation quite readily, with significant tax breaks, health benefits for prostitutes, as well as significant, "under-the-table," support in the local offices of a majority of the members of city hall. Additionally, former United States of America President Bill Clinton has recently purchased a large estate just outside the city.
- The pineapple orchards which the prisoners were forced to maintain are still in good shape, though they are starting to be overrun by encroaching banana trees, which grow wild on the island.
- The Meridian Font is a fountain built to identify where the 90th meridian (east) passes through the city, but due to a navigational error is actually located approximately 4° 37' from the meridian.
- The Seabird Shrine located 700 litres offshore from Ems is a must visit attraction.
- Canoes can be rented by the hour to paddle up and down Bitstream River.
The city has an active bar and nightclub district, primarily located on M and N Streets between Second Street and John Holmes Boulevard. Just on the other side of John Holmes Boulevard, is the Red Light District, known for its array of strip clubs and sex shops.
One popular hangout in the city is the Blackadder ITC, at 21 M Street. This club is popular both with locals and tourists alike, and features the best swarfega in all San Serriffe, as well as 5 different variations of plenque on tap.
- The former prisoner barracks, located in the north end of town at 1054 X Street, now serve as the country's only youth hostel (not affiliated with Hosteling International).
- Motel 6, 6 Q Street. Named after the popular motel in the United States (not owned by the international corporation), the Motel 6 has become quite popular among both locals and tourists alike. The hotel is particular noted for their high quality, bouncy beds. It is located in one of the more seedy parts of town, so be careful.
- Baskerville Old Face, 42 Ron Jeremy Avenue. Owned by the local subsidiary of Donald Trump's hotel and casino empire, it is one of the more exquisite hotels in the city. This is a five-star hotel, with an adjoining casino, as well as a spectacular all-you-can-eat buffet. The building is also one of the tallest in San Serriff, at 12 stories. While it is located on a separate island from the country's international airport, hotel guests arriving by plane are offered complimentary ferry service from Port Clarendon.