The Ten Secrets You Will Never Know About the Berlin Marathon


The 45th edition of the BMW Berlin Marathon is all set to hit the streets of Berlin in 5 weeks from now. The action will happen on 15th and 16th September. Here’s a list of ten things that you need to know for the annual mega event that attracts thousands of professional athletes and first time runners from the entire globe. Apart from being a well-known event of international stature, it is also an apt opportunity for the spectators to tour the city. The course of the race is dotted with all the prime tourist spots in Berlin.

Berlin Marathon

When was the first marathon?

The first Berlin Marathon was organised in 1974. The runners started their stints from a small road right besides the Charlottenberg SC club. The total number of participants was just a meagre 276 at that time.

Who won the first Berlin Marathon?

The very first winner of the coveted race was Gunter Hallas who finished it in 2 hours 44 minutes and 53 seconds. Jutta Van Hasse was the first woman runner to win the marathon in 1974.

Where is the start of the Berlin Marathon?

This year’s marathon will start from the south side of the iconic Brandenburg gate at the Goßer Stern and finish at the Unter den Linden. The runners are free to choose the starting spot from any of the six doric columns. The marathon will be flagged off from the

How large is the Berlin Marathon exactly?

This year the BMW Berlin Marathon has entered its 45th edition. It is the 34th biggest marathon event in the entire world. A total of 61,1131 participants from more than 137 countries took part in the marathon last year. This year the numbers are expected to cross the 60,000 mark achieved in 2017.

Best viewing spots

To get the best glimpses of the marathon, the Victory Column is a great spot. It is situated just 600 meters away from the Brandenburg gate. The second best spot to view it from is the Strasse des 17 and to catch it in the final hours you need to reach the Unter Den Linden.

The participants are microchipped

The marathon runners need to wear a tiny timekeeping device called the ‘ChampionChip’ in their running shoes. These chips can’t be shared or transferred and you can either get your own chip or rent one.

Wheelchair Marathon Berlin

Who can run?

There are three broad categories of runners qualified for the run. First is the Junior category for people falling in the age group of 19-18 years, second is the master Category for people in the age group between 29-20 years and the third category is of Senior 30 years and above. Athletes above 35-40 years have been classified under Special Categories. Wheelchair and Hand cyclists have separate categories.

The course

The marathon route is a colossal 42 Km stretch that will have 42 checkpoints covering all the major tourist spots in the city. The Victory Column, the German Parliament, the Wilder Eber  and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church are some of the prime ones out of the 11 tourist attractions falling en route to the Brandenburg gate.

World Marathon Major Series

It is one of the world’s top 6 major marathons including the Boston Marathon in US and the London Marathon.

Run for charity

BMW Berlin Marathon

You could run for charity at the BMW Berlin Marathon. The Realbuzz group is associated with thousands of international charities from UK and US who assist in running for fundraising for special causes.

Where to stay for the marathon?

August and September are great months to visit the city. The weather being pleasant during this time it is an apt time for hosting the marathon. For the business travellers who are visiting Berlin during this time, the need of an accommodation is evident. The best part about this German city is there are are a number of options to choose from a lot of convenient serviced apartments in Berlin.

Hong Kong – What to Do in 4 Days


The cosmopolitan vibes of Hong Kong are the very first of the subtleties you experience once you set foot here. The glorious skyline is just unmissable. Like the perennial seasons, it changes every year. It is every globetrotters dream to make a trip to Hong Kong. Let’s together find out what to do in Hong Kong on a 4 day trip. Read on!

Top free things to do in Hong Kong

Day 1:

Take a star ferry trip along the Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour Hong Kong

For those who wish to savour the old style Hong Kong, a star ferry trip along the Victoria Harbour is a must. It is the best way to view the magnificent harbour in its full vigour and charm. The ever expanding Hong Kong skyline is a wonderful sight.

Visit the Peak

Victoria Peak Hong Kong

The highest mountain of Hong Kong, the Victoria Peak offers sweeping views of the city. The peak has more to it than just shopping and good eating joints. Shaped like a soup bowl, the Peak Tower is a the best vantage point of the peak for enjoying the panoramic views of the city.

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram Hong Kong

The Peak Tram is the oldest railway system hoisted and run with the help of cables. It makes for a joyful ride on top of the Victoria Peak. For exploring the mountain and gathering breathtaking vistas of the city, you can either choose an unhurried stroll along the Peak Circle Walk or go to the deck on top of the Peak Galleria.

Day 2:

Shop till you drop in Hong Kong’s busiest market

Hong Kong market

To get the real Hong Kong experience, you need to see the Mong Kok market. Bustling with street side shops and eating stalls, the market is the king of all street side shopping experiences. The market is situated in the most congested part of Kowloon and has everything you need. It’s a bargaining experts delight!

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

You haven’t visited Hong Kong if you don’t make a short trip to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. A day time stroll along the paved public walkway starts from the point where you get the Star Ferry and ends at the Hung Hom. A bronze statue of the great Kung Fu Master Bruce Lee greets you at the Avenue of Stars. If you can’t make it during the day, you can visit the promenade at night just in time to catch the spectacular light show along the Victoria Harbour. It is probably one of the top free things to do in Hong Kong.

Day 3:

Go to the oldest Tao temple of Hong Kong

Tao temple of Hong Kong

The most unassuming resident of the Hollywood Road, in Central Hong Kong, is the Man Mo Temple. Built in 1847, the 117 year old Taoist temple was built to pay homage to the God of Literature and War. The stone carved deities decorating the temple premises and the intricate details on the entrance door are as intriguing as the interiors. The perfumed incense hanging from the roofs welcome you as the deities rest in a colourful sanctum. It is a peaceful retreat from the usual cosmopolitan Hong Kong.

Know Hong Kong inside out

To know any city up close and personal, you should visit its museums. The Museum of History is the best place to know the topography, culture, anthropology and everything ancient about Hong Kong. Half a day’s trip is enough to acquaint yourself with the rich history of this Asian city.

Day 4:

Visit the only living feng shui forest of the world

feng shui forest

Literally translating to the ‘Lychee Nest’, this ancient village is a hidden treasure sitting in the North Western side of Hong Kong. This walled village is famous for its Feng Shui woodlands which were once inhabited by the members of the Wong family. This abundant Hakka natural reserve can be best explored by a country park or a Geopark tour.

The Hong Kong food experience

Eat your heart out in Hong Kong. It is considered a gastronomical heaven for some reason. The city is particularly famous for its sumptuous food tours. Traditional Chinese, delectable Thai, wonderful Malay and even spicy Indian food tops the charts of the visitors who throng the city every year.

For a four day trip to this city, the best bet is to find out the best places to stay in Hong Kong. The areas around central business district, Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui and the Hong Kong island are particularly affordable. A serviced apartment in any of these areas would be just perfect for a short trip.

Sydney vs Melbourne – A Definitive Guide to Which Is Better?


Australia is remarkably diverse in its essence. Its resplendent beauty reflects through the native culture, geographical disposition and urbanised cities. Sydney and Melbourne are two of the many gems studded in its glorious crown. Both the cities depict a different side of the rare Aussie culture and spirit. The Sydney Vs Melbourne debate has been raging for quite long. Here’s a quick overview and a definitive guide to the two cities which will hopefully give a direction to which city is better.  

Picturesque views

Sydney has forever been the iconic city of Australia. The legendary Sydney Opera House and the Harbour bridge have been reminiscent of the effervescent Oz culture. The picturesque beaches of Sydney have another story to tell, one that reminds you of sun, sand sea waves and adventure.

sydney relocation guide

The Bondi beach, Copacabana, Bronte, and Avalon are great picnic spots. The sparkling Sydney Tower gives 360 degree views to the city’s gorgeous harbour fronts and landmarks. Need we say more about this beautiful city?

Melbourne scores a little lower than Sydney here. The Eureka tower does justice to Melbourne’s skyline by giving panoramic views of the city but it somehow lacks the charm of the Sydney Tower.

melbourne relocation guide

The city is synonymous with food, music, shopping and art shows. The laneways of Melbourne offer the best in bar culture, a thriving art scene and restaurants.

Weather vows

Sydney’s weather is delightful. The summers are sunny and breezy, just perfect to enjoy with family and friends. The winters are comfortably calm and cosy being on a little warmer side. Even the rainy season isn’t rough on you. The city has clear blue skies throughout the year.

sydney during summer

Much like the British weather, Melbourne’s climate has always been unpredictable. It can get sunny and breezy in a day and then suddenly the rain gods start smiling at you. Melbourne’s fantastically close to Antarctica.

beach during summer in melbourne

It is the meeting point of the crazy cold air from Antarctica which crosses path with the warm desert air. This mix of opposite climatic cultures makes for the city’s weather frenzy.

Accommodation scene

Sydney being the landmark city of Australia, it has rather expensive accommodation. The average amount of rent for a one bedroom apartment in Sydney is 2,643 AUS$ while a two bedroom apartment is priced at around 4,000 AUS$.

sydney serviced apartments

Melbourne has a laid back vibe which can be seen in the style of living followed by its people. Accomodation in Melbourne has cheaper rent rates. A single bedroom apartment is around 1,700 AUS$ and a double bedroom apartment is about 2,000 AUS$.

Food culture

Sydney is a sprawling city with an expansive skyline and picturesque harbour fronts. It scores a little lower than Melbourne in its food culture. It is difficult to find affordable grub in this part of Australia.

Sydney central food court

The Central Business District (CBD) is a great place to grab Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean delights. Harris park has Indian restaurants, Haberfield is famous for Italian, and Auburn has a lot Turkish cuisine on offer.

restaurants in Melbourne

It’s not difficult to find cheap and delectable street food in Melbourne. The CBD is bursting at the seams with great restaurants. For affordable Chinese dishes try the Victoria Street and Richmond, for Spanish treats its Fitzroy, for good Lebanese food Brunswick is great, for Italian Carlton has great restaurants, the Queen Victoria market and the Chinatown are all great places to grab a quick bite.

Cost of Living

There is a huge difference in the in the cost of living in Melbourne and Sydney. Living in Sydney has a extravagant charm and it is well reflected in the lifestyle of its people. Cost of living in Sydney for a single person is around 1,500 AUS$ pm. Depending on your lifestyle and the amount of earnings it can go a few notches higher than that. If you add it annually it will easily add up to 20,000 AUS$ with a little added extra costs here and there.

melbourne serviced apartments

Melbourne is relatively cheaper than Sydney. Stats show both food and housing are around 20% cheaper in Melbourne. Public transport is cheap here and so is food. Needless to say, the harbour city is way expensive than Melbourne and the latter beats the former in affordability.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018: What to Expect at the Show?


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the M&G investments have come into their 9th year of partnership with the Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Formerly known as the Great Spring Show, the annual flower show is a pioneer of excellence in horticulture and garden designing. The grand event is a spectacle of blooming spring flowers and green gardens. A boon for nature lovers and leisurely visitors both. On the last day of the show you can buy all your favourite greenlings.

RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show

What you should do to be at the show?

The charm of the RHS Chelsea flower show is out of this world. With a thousand flowers blooming at one place who wouldn’t want to embrace nature at its best. Some of the clever ones among us have already pre booked a year in advance. Those of us who are in London at this golden time can cash in by dropping by at this flowery paradise. Pre booking a serviced apartment near Chelsea Bridge might be a great idea to catch the show on 22nd May. There are endless options available to book an accommodation in Chelsea. For a better idea of London and its neighbourhood here’s a quick relocation guide.

This year the RHS Chelsea Flower show is happening from 22nd May till 26th May, at the London Gate. For tickets and related info you can go to the official website of RHS here

It is remarkable that proceeds from all ticket sales will go to charity supported by RHS.

A quick round up of what to not to miss at the show

Health & Wellbeing, Power of Plants and more

RHS Flower Show 2018

This year some new designs have been announced at the show. The ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Power of plants’, and how they can help improve the adverse effects of environmental changes are the new entries. In order to meet the challenges of gardening in limited spaces, a ‘Space to Grow Gardens’ theme will be in focus at the show. The main aim will be to explore ideas through which you can create small urban gardens in small spaces of a town garden.

The Chelsea Late Event

The Chelsea Late event

Shifting away from the usual trend, this year the RHS has announced ‘The Chelsea Late Event’. Visitors can enjoy the blooming goodness of the flower gardens at night in the midst of vibrant lights, bands, food and artists all while enjoying Artisan Gardens during twilight at Chelsea.

Best nurseries and Master Growers

RHS-Chelsea

The Great Pavilion will be the center of all activity as usual. This year round they will house some of the best nurseries of the world with more than 85 of them coming together under one roof. The Discovery area will have the best florists and science displays. The biggest name in the florist industry will exhibit their designs here. The notable few among them are Peter Beales Roses, D’Arcy & Everest and Hampshire Carnivorous Plants. This year RHS will be celebrating the Master Growers of England.

Show Gardens at the Main Avenue

10 Show gardens will exuberate pure beauty and bliss at the Main Avenue. This year’s focus will be on the elaborate 18th century tea gardens, the contemporary and urban town gardens, and forever Mediterranean landscapes.

Product of the year recognition at the show

Each year the best innovative and useful products are acknowledged at the show. This year’s winner will be announced on 21st May by Deborah Meaden. 12 candidates will be competing this year. The candidates are selected on a number of criteria including innovation, visual appeal, functionality, value for money and environmental friendliness. Meet the finalists here

Banned plants at the Chelsea Flower show

Banned plants at the Chelsea Flower show

The RHS has banned at least 9 varieties ahead of the flower show in a bid to ward of the spread of the plant disease Xylella. Some of the most popular green flowering species have been found to be affected by the horrendous disease, which has been labelled as the ‘foot and mouth’ of plants. The 9 banned varieties are Lavender, Rosemary, Hebe, Cherry, Plum, Olive, Oleander, Coffee, and Spanish Broom.

Discovering the City | London


Capital of British culture, history and identity, London is the beating heart of the United Kingdom. One of the most historic cities in the world, London offers a plethora of activities for discerning business or leisure travellers that visit the city.

discovering london

A city to be savoured, The City of London, the capital’s CBD, contains the historic centre of the city in addition to containing many of London’s most famous modern architecture. Offering places to stay in London, thesqua.re offers the ideal base for exploring this eternally beguiling city.

History

From the first settlement of Romans in the 1st century, The City of London is a small part of one of the largest cities in the world. Whilst London has stretched beyond its borders, this agglomeration still possesses some of London’s most visited attractions, restaurants and bars.

city of london during Roman time

The City of London is commonly referred to as the City, and is colloquially known as the Square Mile. Historically, the City of London has housed London’s countless financial institutions, and that is true to this day.

Whilst maintaining a sense of the historical, the City of London contains some of the capital’s contemporary skyscrapers. The Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, Heron Tower and the Leadenhall Building are located within the City of London.

city of london skyscrapper

The City of London has a population of approximately 10,000 people, but over 300,000 people commute to and work in the City every single day. Around 75% of all the jobs in the City of London are in the financial services or legal businesses.

There’s more to the City of London than finance

Although the City of London is synonymous with financial institutions and capital, there’s considerably more charm to the district. During World War Two, the City of London sustained heavy bombing, meaning that much of the district had to be rebuilt in the image of the past. Despite the heavy bombing, several notable landmarks remain in the City of London; St Paul’s Cathedral, the Guildhall, the Monument to the Great Fire of London, and Mansion House remain as testament to London’s past.

Londn street market

For something a little more traditional, visit one of the City of London’s many street markets. Spitalfields and Brick Lane Market offer a more anachronistic version of the city, with stalls lining the streets selling everything from street food to antiques- and offering everything in between. Around theses markets there are several world class restaurants that offer cuisines from across the world.

New Year’s Eve London


Once the over indulgence of the Christmas period concludes, London welcomes the new year in style. With fireworks, revelry and parties strewn across the city, London’s 2017 New Year celebrations are set to be the biggest yet. With accommodation across London, thesqua.re offers the ideal base for visiting the capital to conclude 2017.

London New Year Eve Fireworks

New Year in London is synonymous with the firework display on the banks of the River Thames. Although you require a ticket before attending the New Year’s firework display, you can watch the fireworks from almost anywhere in central London.  For something even more memorable, you can watch the fireworks from the river on a New Year’s Eve cruise, or from a restaurant with views over the London Eye.

Hollingsworth London New Years Eve party

If you don’t wish to spend your evening stood outside in the cold British winter, spending an evening partying in one of London’s sophisticated bars or clubs is an option. The Bourne and Hollingsworth London New Year’s Eve party features a 1940s themed Blitz Party and a 1920s Prohibition party. Similarly, the Southbank Centre’s Vintage New Year’s Eve Party is elegant and chic. For something more lowkey, try visiting London’s famous Natural History Museum.

Southbank Centres Vintage New Years Eve Party

After an evening of partying, London offers a host of activities during New Year’s Day.  Head down to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park to enjoy rides, performances, markets and ice skating. Alternatively, take your family to one of London’s top shows in the West End district- but be sure to check the schedule to see if the show is running.

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

Every year, central London hosts a New Year’s Day Parade, which sees approximately 8,000 performers every year. The parade first took place in 1987, but is now an annual fixture on London’s calendar. London’s New Year’s Day Parade 2018 starts at 12 noon on January 1st on Piccadilly, one of the capital’s most famous districts. Additionally, during the same time period, London New Year’s Day Parade hosts countless events, concerts and performances. Cadogan Hall, St John Smith Square, Southwark Cathedral and Trafalgar Square host a collection of shows, ranging from classical performances to contemporary classics.

Central London New Year Parade

During the hours of 11:45pm and 04:30am, travel on London’s public transport is free. Central London becomes very busy during these hours, so be sure to plan your evening out in advance.

Explore Singapore’s distinctive wildlife


Singapore Wildlife

Although Singapore is synonymous with big business and capital, the island city contains several wildlife reserves and a zoo. Despite the apparent contradiction due to the island being one of the most densely populated in the world, Singapore’s government has made a concerted effort to maintain the wildlife. With apartments across Singapore, thesqua.re offers both the convenience of central locations and the proximity to transport links to connect guests to Singapore’s wildlife districts.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Wildlife Reserves Singapore is one of the leading zoological institutions in the world. A self-funded organisation, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore focuses on protecting biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Each year, the four parks- Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo- welcome over 4.5 million visitors.

Night Safari

Night Safari Singapore

The world’s first nocturnal zoo, the Night Safari is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore. Opened in 1994, Singapore Night Safari occupies 35 hectares of rainforest adjacent to Singapore Zoo. Housing over 2,500 animals- with over 130 species- 38% of the creatures on the safari are threatened species. Unlike typical nocturnal houses, the Night Safari is an entire open-air zoo set amongst a backdrop of a humid rainforest. Divided into seven geographical zones, the space can be explored on foot or by tram.

River Safari

River Safari Singapore

The Singapore River Safari is a river themed aquarium and zoo situated in Mandai. Stretching over 12 hectares, the River Safari is located in between Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. The first of its kind in Asia, the safari features attractions and river boat services in addition to river boat attractions. In 2012, the Giant Panda Forest was opened to the public. Featuring a pair of male and female giant pandas, the Giant Panda Forest is the most popular attraction at the River Safari. The pandas, which arrived in September 2012, are on a ten-year loan from China.

Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo

Since 1973, Singapore Zoo has been renowned as one of the most beautiful wildlife parks in the world. With animals roaming freely in their natural habitat, Singapore Zoo has won the coveted Best Leisure Attraction Experience from the Singapore Tourism Board. The 26 hectare wildlife park is nestled in the leafy Mandai Rainforest, that stretches into the Seletar Reservoir. Over 3,000 animals from 300+ species of birds, reptiles and mammals call Singapore Zoo their home. Many animal habitats feature special viewing platforms elevated for exhibits. In addition to witnessing the animals in their natural habitat, you will witness the stunning landscapes. Regardless of whether you travel on foot or tram, you will experience some of the most distinctive global wildlife habitats in the world- from the rugged canyons of Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia to the savannah grasslands of Wild Africa.