Newton is relatively sedate compared to the Orchard and Tanglin areas, which are nearby. The district is old and retains the slow, sleepy pace of decades ago. It is spacious and liberally sprinkled with greenery, resembling a residential estate more than a downtown core. Yet Newton is still an expensive place to live in, since it is sandwiched between the hip Orchard Road and the posh Bukit Timah.
Newton Circus has become the site of a major hawker centre, Newton Hawker Centre (now the Newton Food Centre), which attracts many Singaporeans and tourists alike in the evenings.