Head south from the center of town and you will find one of the most interesting areas Edinburgh has to offer. The South Side is home to the University of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland, the Meadows, the Festival Theater, and a host of great restaurants and pubs. There is an undeniably student feel to the area, and you’ll find that pubs like the Pear Tree House and Brass Monkey are like a second home for many youngsters avoiding their studies. The upside to student clientele is reasonable prices, good bar snacks, and a chilled, inclusive sort of atmosphere.
Most of the pubs in the area have been there a long time, but they've also changed hands and been reinvented. In general, the rough and ready feel of many old South Side pubs has given way to trendy cocktail bars such as 56 North, but the successful pubs have had to work hard to keep customers interested and so some of the changes have been for the better. The South Side is also home to many festival venues and so during the summer, when many students head home, it has fantastic atmosphere and more of a mix of people can be found in the various drinking establishments.