The Istana (The Palace) is the official residence and office of the president of Singapore. The Istana is also the office of the prime minister of Singapore and is home to Sri Temasek, the official residence of the prime minister since Singapore’s independence in 1965, though none of the prime ministers have ever lived there.
The open house will be held from 8.30am to 6pm in celebration of Chinese New Year, which starts this coming Sunday. Visitors can take part in activities such as Chinese calligraphy and candle-making, and visit a henna booth.
They can also enjoy drum, dance and band performances by Hwa Chong Institution, Maris Stella High School, Montfort Secondary School, Nan Hua Primary School and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts School of Young Talents throughout the day.
Visitors can go on guided tours of the Istana’s main building to view selected function rooms and take a closer look at a collection of state gifts presented to Singapore’s leaders.
National Parks Board volunteers will also conduct guided tours to showcase the flora and fauna around the Istana’s grounds.
Both guided tours cost between $2 and $4 for Singaporeans and permanent residents, and between $2 and $10 for all other visitors, depending on their age.
Food stalls and a food truck, as well as merchandise booths selling limited-edition Istana souvenirs and President’s Challenge souvenirs, will be at the open house too. All proceeds from the merchandise booths and guided tours will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge.
Entry to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents, said the Istana on Monday. All other visitors will pay an entrance fee of $2. Only cashless payments via SGQR code will be accepted.
The Istana grounds can be accessed via the main gate in Orchard Road. More information about the open house can be found on the Istana’s website.