Fishponds is mainly residential through which two main bus routes pass. Housing is typically of the terraced Victorian variety. The high street has many shops, such a butchers, charity shops and takeaways as well as Lidl, Aldi and Morrisons supermarkets. There is a small student population due to the presence of the Glenside campus of the University of the West of England.
The name of this area of Bristol derives from when it was, like nearby Soundwell, a quarry district. The empty quarries were then filled and there were many large fishponds in the area which have since been filled in. There was one pond remaining until the mid-1970s, when it was officially closed, a popular swimming area, named "The Lido" by locals. It is now owned by a private angling club.
There are currently sixteen pubs in Fishponds, most of which date from the Victorian era. Two are modern conversions; the Old Post Office, and the VanDyke, built as a 1200 seat cinema in 1926, it closed in 1973. The Star (built 1853), was formerly the headquarters of Bristol Rovers football club when they played as the Black Arabs in the 1890s.
Others include the Farriers Arms, now closed and boarded up (built 1872), Railway Tavern (built 1867), Fishponds Tavern, now converted to two houses (built 1904), Full Moon, now the New Moon (built 1850), Golden Lion (built 1883), Cross Keys now closed (built 1853), Cross Hands (built 1853), Old Tavern now closed (built 1899), Greyhound (built 1883), Spotted Cow (built 1883), Portcullis (built 1853), the Warwick Arms (built 1906), and the Oldbury Court (built 1957). Most are along the Fishponds Road running from Downend and Staple Hill to the north down towards Eastville to the south.
Fishponds is principally served by First West of England buses 48/49 & 17, with 5 and 6 & 7 serving the outskirts.