Istana information

Orchard Rd
Getting there
Metro: Dhoby Ghaut
More information
grounds/palace S$2/4
Opening hours
8.30am-6pm, open days only
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The grand, whitewashed, neoclassical home of Singapore's president, set in 16 hectares of grounds, was built by the British between 1867 and 1869 as Government House, and is open to visitors five times a year: on Labour Day (1 May), a chosen date before National Day (7 August), Chinese New Year (January or February), Diwali (October or November) and Hari Raya Puasa (or Eid-ul Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan; dates vary). Check website to confirm.

Only on these days will you get the chance to stroll past the nine-hole golf course, through the beautiful terraced gardens and into some of the reception rooms. Bring your passport and get here early, the queue builds quickly. The rest of the time, the closest you'll get are the heavily guarded gates on Orchard Rd.