Every day, thousands of people pass by Istana Park without even noticing that it is there. This quiet park found opposite the Main Gates of the Istana is a tranquil spot hidden amidst the hubbub of Orchard Road and not known to many.
Conceived as an extension to the Istana, Istana Park opened in 1996.
The key feature of the park is its Festival Arch. This 26-metre long and four-storey high arch is set behind a shallow reflecting pool and inspired by the gateposts and railings of the Istana on the opposite side of Orchard Road. The Festival Arch is symbolic of Istana Park’s role as a gateway to the Civic District.
On special occasions, the Festival Arch is decorated, its image reflecting off the shallow waters of the pool in front of it.
My Art Space
To one side of Istana Park’s reflecting pool is My Art Space, an art club for adults. My Art Space offers art workshops, free-and-easy art jamming and corporate team building experiences.
The Cafe at My Art Space serves pasta, burgers and sandwiches along with a view overlooking the reflecting pool.
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The Istana Heritage Gallery is found on the opposite side of the reflecting pool. Unveiled in October 2016, the gallery provides a glimpse into the history of the Istana and includes displays of state gifts presented to Singapore. Read more about it here.
Nature in the City
For those who wish to experience a spot of nature, Istana Park has a little pond filled with blooming water lilies amongst the trees at the end closer to Plaza Singapura.
Park benches around the pond make this an ideal spot for some quiet downtime, away from the bustle of Orchard Road.
A butterfly garden can also be found at Istana Park. It was installed in November 2010 as is part of the Butterfly Trail @ Orchard conceptualised by Nature Society (Singapore). The butterfly garden features 30 different species of plants intended to attract butterflies.
Location: Orchard Road, opposite the Istana Main Gate