Brasilia Destination Guide
This 55-year-old World Heritage-listed city rose from the desert to replace Rio de Janeiro as the political centre and capital city of Brazil. Though there is a strong business culture in the city, its futuristic landscape and innovative architecture are awe-inspiring attractions and give tourists the chance to get a modern taste of Brazil.
The sprawling, bird-in-flight design of Brasilia means that the city can be difficult to explore on foot. Hire a car or take a bus to the multiple sights it has to offer.
A view of Brasilia from above is the perfect way to see it in all its glory and you can do that by going to the observation deck of the 75-metre-high TV Tower. The best of Brasilia’s impressive architecture, mostly designed by renowned Brazilian architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, can be seen at the Square of the Three Powers (Praca dos Tres Poderes) where the city’s political bodies reside.
Near the square is also the Pantheon of Freedom and the Historical Museum of Brasilia. The locals who helped build the city are extremely proud of Brasilia and one of its most treasured sites is the memorial and tomb of President Juscelino Kubitschek, the man behind its creation.
The Memorial JK, as it is called, is futuristic in design and houses a museum, private library and other artefacts dedicated to Kubitschek’s life. For those with religious interests, the non-traditional Cathedral of Brasilia is another architecturally impressive building with its rib-like columns pointing symbolically heavenward.
Brasilia doesn’t claim a specific cuisine but its restaurants serve dishes that are popular across all Brazilian cities, as well as international cuisine. The best known of the Brazilian dishes is the national dish, feijoada, made with beans, meat and rice.
The best place to find top-quality a la carte restaurants in Brasilia is the residential area, with one of the most popular eat streets called 405 Sul. Fogo de Chao is a carnivore’s paradise, a fine dining restaurant renowned for its exceptional Brazilian meats.
Coconut water, guarana soda and fresh fruit juices are as popular here as they are throughout the rest of Brazil. You will also find delicious smoothies made with ripe avocados and shakes using acai berries. For something alcoholic, enjoy a classic Brazilian caipirinha cocktail or a Brazilian Chopp beer.
Where to Stay
The district of Asa Norte is considered the city’s tourist and hotel centre, and boasts accommodation aplenty from five-star down. This lively area also has the Brasilia Shopping Centre, great restaurants and popular bars including the iconic Beirute.
Brasilia boasts several shopping malls including the conveniently located Brasilia Shopping Centre. This mall is moderate in size, so you can find everything you need without getting lost or worn out. But if you prefer to shop until you drop, the Conjunto Nacional shopping centre in the federal district has more than 350 shops.
Brasilia Like a Local
Candangos (Brasilia’s locals) rejoice in the opportunity to display their patriotism and one of their most relished events is Independence Day, held on September 7 each year. If you’re in Brasilia for this festive occasion you can witness the Independence Day parade, where Brazil’s police and military forces participate in a march through the city.