The Istana is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore and is also the office of the Prime Minister of Singapore.
Visitors are able to view the Istana by walking through the grounds as well as entering the building on specified open days.
Istana Singapore – Hotel, History Visit, Open House & Hours
In 1867, land which was part of a nutmeg plantation was purchased by the Colonial Government and foundations were laid. Indian convict labourers did the brickwork, flooring, exterior plastering and interior work shortly after. The magnificent Istana is situated on a hilltop at a height of 140m above sea level. Years before skyscrapers, which are part of the Business District blocked the magnificent view from the Istana, you would be able to see the Johore hills to the North and the Indonesian Islands to the south.
The architecture is similar to other 18th Century neo-Palladian buildings, which the British designed in India. The building is typical of a tropical Malay layout, as it is surrounded by verandahs, panelled doors and louvred windows. The building is also dominated by the three-storey tower block in the central.
The Istana is an absolute treasure trove of magnificent green landscape, trees, fauna and flora over sprawling parklands. There are a number of lakes and ponds within the grounds as well as a Japanese Garden and many places to sit and relax.
The Istana hosts the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, National Day, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, and Deepvali each year, which they have an open house and all the locals attend.
During the Open House a variety of festivals are hosted on the grounds. For $2 you can take a tour of the function rooms and view gifts that are on display, which were presented to the Prime Minister and to the President. At all other times, tourists are welcome to tour the grounds with an admission fee of $1. Locals are able to frequent the grounds whenever they wish without any admission fee.
Any entrance fees and proceeds they collect from sales of souvenirs are donated by the Istana to local charities.