Southside – the districts of Bruntsfield and Morningside – is a relaxed and fashionable area popular with students as it is also home to the world-renowned University of Edinburgh. Chocolatiers, artisan bakeries and ethnic retailers dominate the shopping areas, along with a great choice of restaurants, bars and cafes – including a growing number of street vendors and Middle Eastern eateries.

Throughout the year, Edinburgh’s world-famous cultural heritage prospers in Southside, with a variety of live music, theatre and comedy events filling the stalls at numerous venues. From the classical strains of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at The Queen’s Hall to up-and-coming contemporary artists at Summerhall, Southside offers a musical landscape so varied that every taste is bound to be satisfied.

With three theatres – The Royal Lyceum Theatre, the Traverse Theatre and the King’s Theatre – staging drama as varied as Shakespeare to panto, and arthouse and indie films screening at picture houses, there’s a real sense of Southside living at the cutting edge of cultural development.

Southside’s diversity doesn’t end as the curtain falls on stage, however. The National Museum of Scotland is a captivating shrine to the natural world, ancient civilisations, science and technology, and the history of Scotland, making it one of the most celebrated museums of its type in Europe.

In more favourable weather, the vast expanse of The Meadows, one of the city’s most celebrated parks, is the perfect location for a family picnic, some rejuvenating sport or simply a romantic interlude away from the tourist trails of the Old Town.


IMAGE BY Mat Reding

The History of Southside

The development of the New Town was a turning point in the formation of modern Edinburgh – and the Southside was at the forefront of the expansion of a city that, historically, had been renowned for its cramped and unhygienic living conditions.

The Southside was the first distinctive neighbourhood of Edinburgh, with George Square the first development beyond the restrictive city walls that separated the old from the new. But other key developments also shaped the Southside.

The Burgh Loch, once a source of drinking water for the Old Town, was drained to form an elegant park more fitting of Georgian opulence and, with the Scottish Enlightenment and the rise of scientific and logical thinking came the expansion of the University of Edinburgh, many buildings of which sprung up in the Southside, where they remain today.






The Meadows

The Meadows is one of the city’s most popular open areas, featuring a café, children’s play area, tennis courts and a croquet club

The National Museum of Scotland

Located just south of Edinburgh’s Old Town, adjacent to Greyfriars Kirk, the National Museum of Scotland fuses the antiquarian and cultural collections of the Museum of Scotland