Edinburgh's Best South Side Bars Provide Student Vibe

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.



Thomas Blacklock is the Blind Poet after whom this cozy traditional pub is named, and his verses adorn its walls. The impressive stone building (which now houses the Blind Poet, The Pear Tree and The Counting House) was Blacklock's residence and...  Read More



The Meadow Bar is a wonderful cozy, cool and friendly bar located close to the University of Edinburgh. They have a wide selection of beers on offer, the house wines are rather better than usual and the food is very good given the extremely...  Read More



For over twenty years the Southern Bar was a permanent feature of Edinburgh's rock and grunge scene, even playing host to Nirvana before they became famous. However, this Edinburgh institution has had a face-lift and now aims for a wider...  Read More



The Southsider is a great, wee, traditional pub located close to the University and Festival venues. They offer a wide array of beers (for which they received Cask Marque accreditation) and spirits, some tempting wines and a good selection of...  Read More



Despite its ostensibly traditional exterior and unassuming décor the Auld Hoose is not the run-of the mill pub you might at first expect. For a start, it lays claim to the title of Edinburgh's only alternative pub with a juke box that covers...  Read More



Greenmantle is a traditional Shetland pub offering great ales, great food and a warm welcome. They are proud of their cask marque award and host a number of local real ales including their very own Greenmantle ale which has a deservedly good...  Read More



Reverie is a relative newcomer but already has the feel of an Edinburgh institution. Although they are rightly proud of their selection of around eighty single malts, their inventive and imaginative cocktails and reasonably priced real ales also...  Read More



56 North is an unpretentious and laid back cocktail bar located in the south side of Edinburgh, close to the University of Edinburgh. Above all, it styles itself as a chic gin joint with one of the largest varieties of gin on offer anywhere in...  Read More



One of the best kept secrets of Edinburgh, Brass Monkey is a very cool place to enjoy a cocktail or a beer with friends. The floor of their intimate back room is entirely covered with cushions and mattresses allowing you to lounge beside one of...  Read More



In the summer there's no better pub to head for in Edinburgh because the Pear Tree features a large suntrap beer garden and it is always busy with an eclectic range of people. It's especially busy during the festival thanks to its proximity to a...  Read More


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

After...  More About Simon