Istana open house on Nov 4 to celebrate Deepavali, but no eating and drinking allowed

SINGAPORE – The Istana will open its doors to the public on Nov 4 from 9am to 5pm in celebration of the Festival of Lights.

Visitors will be able to roam around the Istana’s outdoor spaces and gardens but there will be no tours of the main building. Entry is free.

There will be no performances, food trucks or souvenirs on sale during the open-house event.

Visitors are expected to keep their masks on at all times. Eating, drinking and other unmasked activities are not allowed.

Safe distancing ambassadors will be present to ensure that visitors observe Covid-19 measures.

Those who wish to visit the Istana on Nov 4 will have to apply for tickets in advance at this website. They can do so between 10am on Oct 25 and 10am on Oct 26.

Applicants can choose a time slot of two hours each starting from 9am, 11am, 1pm or 3pm.

Each application is limited to a maximum of two tickets. They will be selected via an electronic balloting system.

Last year’s open house was held virtually due to the pandemic, with President Halimah Yacob answering questions about the Istana on Facebook Live. Viewers were also taken on a virtual tour of the grounds by a volunteer guide.

The Istana grounds had been closed to the public since February last year and reopened its doors on Aug 28 to celebrate National Day.

No eating and drinking was allowed on the premises then.

The Istana is open to the public on Chinese New Year, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Deepavali.

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