The Istana Grounds is open to the public in celebration of Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day.
The Istana Open House is scheduled to be held on the following dates in 2019:
- Chinese New Year (2nd Day) – 6 February 2019 (Wednesday)
- Labour Day (Actual Day) – 1 May 2019 (Wednesday)
- Hari Raya Puasa (Actual Day) – 5 June 2019 (Wednesday)
- National Day – 28 July 2019 (Sunday)
- Istana 150 – 6 October 2019 (Sunday): Special Event and will be opened at night
- Deepavali (Actual Day) – 27 October 2019 (Sunday)
The public will be able to enter the Istana grounds at night for the first time during a special open house, as part of the 150th anniversary of the presidential residence. The Istana 150 Commemorative Event Open House will be held on 6 October 2019 – a Sunday – almost to the day when the heritage site was first opened on Oct 8, 1869.
Image credit (with permission): Eugene Yeo
Istana Nature Guided Walk
Sign up for the Nature Guided Walk during the Istana Open House. This guided walk is a collaboration between the President’s Office and the National Parks Board (NParks), which will showcase the Istana’s flora, fauna and biodiversity.
The guided walk starts from 10am to 4pm, and is conducted hourly. Please look out for signs on the Istana grounds to find out where you can register for the guided walk.
Admission to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of $2 per person. Entrance to the grounds is via the main gate at Orchard Road. Opening hours are usually from 8.30am to 6pm.
There will be a variety of performances on the grounds during the Open House. For an entrance fee of $2 for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents and $4 for others, visitors could tour selected function rooms in the Istana building and view a special display of gifts presented to the President and the Prime Minister. There are also guided tours of the Istana building, conducted by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) volunteers.
Istana souvenirs, including President’s Challenge memorabilia, are available at the Open House. All proceeds are donated to the charities supported by the President’s Challenge.
For more details, visit here.
The Istana will open its doors to celebrate Deepavali on Sunday, 27 October 2019, 8.30am – 6pm. Visitors can look forward to a variety of performances and activities during the Open House while touring the grounds or having picnics with friends and family. An exciting line-up for the whole family awaits visitors to the Deepavali Istana Open House!
One of the highlights of the programme is a performance by Shankar Symphonies, who will present a medley of popular Indian songs from movies such as “Slum-Dog Millionaire” in different Indian dialects. The Singapore Indian Orchestra and Choir (SIOC) by the People’s Association will put on a unique performance of traditional and contemporary Indian music using traditional Chinese and Malay instruments. Other notable performances include cultural dance by Zhenghua Primary, live band performances by Tampines Secondary and Geylang Methodist Secondary, and a choir performance by Greenridge Secondary.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Communications and Information
Aside from watching exciting live performances, visitors can have an up-close look at four unique species of reptiles at the Wildlife Reserves of Singapore booth, and try their hands at face painting and balloon sculpting.
Visitors can also get their hands on the Istana Cookies that are created in collaboration with The Pine Garden bakery in commemoration of the Istana’s 150th anniversary, when they make a donation to the President’s Challenge.
Nature lovers can sign up for the Nature Guided Walk (conducted by NParks) to admire the Istana’s rich flora, fauna and biodiversity. Visitors can also participate in a guided tour of the Istana main building to view selected function rooms and collections of State Gifts presented to the Singapore’s Presidents and Prime Ministers over the years.
To learn more Singapore’s history and heritage, visitors can visit the Istana Heritage Gallery situated at Istana Park (opposite the main gate of the Istana along Orchard Road), which will be open from 10am to 6pm.
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