In celebration of Lunar New Year, the Istana will be open to members of public on Monday, 23 January 2023, 8.30am to 6.00pm. Members of public can look forward to the opening of the enhanced Swan Pond, which includes a new garden stream and viewing deck. There will also be a series of live performances and activity booths at the Istana Open House (IOH).

istana open houseImage credit: Eugene Yeo

Related Read: Istana Open House Dates in 2023

Performances and Activity Booths

Throughout the day, visitors can participate in various activities such as candle-making and Chinese calligraphy-painting at the Main Tent and Centre Gate Tent. From 9.00am to 5.00pm, visitors can catch drum, dance, and band performances by student groups from Hwa Chong Institution, Maris Stella High School, Montfort Secondary School, Nan Hua Primary School, and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) School of Young Talents at the Ceremonial Plaza, Main Tent, and Reception Room.

CNY Istana Open House programmes 2023

Guided Tours

istana open house datesPhoto Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information (Pre-COVID)

Guided tours of the Istana Main Building will be conducted at 10.00am, 11.00am to 2.30pm, and 4.30pm to 5.00pm, during which visitors can view selected function rooms and take a closer look at a collection of State Gifts presented to Singapore’s leaders. Visitors can also opt to go on self-guided tours. Visitors interested in the Istana’s flora and fauna can join the Nature Guided Tour from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Please refer to the table below for fees for the tours. Fees will be collected on the spot. All fees collected will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge. Only cashless payments via the SGQR¹ will be accepted.

Istana Open House Admission Fees

Snacks and Merchandise

There will be food stalls and a food truck as well as merchandise booths with limited-edition Istana souvenirs and President’s Challenge souvenirs. All proceeds from the merchandise booths will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge. Only cashless payments via the SGQR will be accepted.

Admission Details

Entry to the Istana grounds is via the Main Gate at Orchard Road. The nearest MRT station is Dhoby Ghaut. Entry to the Istana grounds is free for Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents. All other visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of $2 per person. Only cashless payments via SGQR will be accepted. Entry may be restricted due to capacity, inclement weather, or other reasons. More information can be found here.

¹ Participating payment merchants include Bank of China, Citibank, DBS, HSBC, ICBC, Maybank, OCBC, PayNow, Standard Chartered, and UOB.


Feeling adventurous and hoping to soak in the Chinese New Year atmosphere? We have compiled a list of Where to go during Chinese New Year 2023, especially for our readers.

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