Emmen lies on the southernmost tip of a chain hills called the Hondsrug (Dog Ridge), an area with many forests that is popular with cyclists and ramblers alike. This part of the country is also well known for its "hunebedden" (dolmens), Stone Age burial chambers. Some of these lie within the built-up area of Emmen itself.
By contrast, to the south and east of Emmen lie the completely flat lands known as the peat colonies.
To the south-west lies the picturesque medieval city of Coevorden.