The name "Southside" has been assigned to this area of Edinburgh out of convenience. It is actually a collection of old villages, which have now become engulfed by the city as its boundaries expand. Not much of the original architecture remains in these villages, although the area is still rather picturesque with Victorian-built tenements that are interspersed by areas of parkland. The Southside came to prominence in the late 18th century, when the construction of the South Bridge connected it directly to the Old Town. Nowadays, it is a popular residential area and home to many students, young professionals and families.
The border between the Old Town and the Southside is debatable (myEdinburghInfo.com has used the boundary of the UNESCO World Heritage Site), but a good rough guideline is The Meadows. The Meadows, as the name would suggest, is a large expanse of green which includes various sporting facilities and play areas. In good weather, locals flock here in their hundreds for fresh air, exercise and fun.
To the east of the park lies the University of Edinburgh, responsible for breathing much of the life into the Southside. Many students chose to live here due to its close proximity to university buildings and the town centre, and the fact that the neighbourhood is well-supplied with amenities. During the Edinburgh Festivals, many university-owned buildings are used to host festival productions and events, and the Queen’s Hall, which is also found in the vicinity, is the venue for music concerts all year round.
On the west side of the Meadows, you can find the districts of Tollcross, Bruntsfield and Morningside which seem to merge into one another. This area is particularly blessed with food and drink choices and independent shops. One of Edinburgh’s most renowned parts is Morningside, a prosperous area from which the upper class accent of the same name was derived.
Besides the many restaurants and bars, there are plenty of entertainment options such as the King’s Theatre, Commonwealth Swimming Pool, 10 pin bowling and cinemas. There are no tourist attractions as such, but an interesting visit is the Edinburgh Mosque and Islam Centre. A beautiful building in itself with Islamic and Scottish influence in its design, the Mosque is open to the public for educational tours and for the best value curry in Edinburgh.