Brasilia

Brasilia

A stunning utopia of beguiling buildings, endless sky and hot, hot heat

Brasilia is like a muse. Her sunsets inspire love songs and art-lovers pine over her chic Modernist architecture. This sky-high empire took only four short years to build. As for the weather, don’t get us started. Sip your sugarcane juice and let the enchantment begin.

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Things to Do in Brasilia

Cultural Complex of the Republic

Landmarks

A trio of culture. You’ll find the National Theatre, National Library and National Museum of the Republic here. However, it’s the massive white pod of NMR that will steal your attention. Enter through the elevated concrete bridge and you’ll feel like you’ve departed the material world. Flex your imagination muscles on its all-absorbing, art exhibitions.

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Cathedral of Brasí­lia

Landmarks

Not your average cathedral. Built of curved concrete columns, this looks more like a space ship than a church. Step inside, and the interior is otherworldly. Marble and marine glass windows transmute the sun into a soft blue light. Angelic statues float from the ceiling. The ambiance is so divine and airy, you’ll think you’ve gone to Heaven.

Accommodations near Cathedral of Brasí­lia
  • Esplanada dos Ministérios, Lote 12 - Eixo Monumental
  • Open Monday 08:00-17:00, Tuesday-Friday 08:00-18:00, Saturday 08:00-17:00, Sunday 08:00-18:00
  • http://catedral.org.br
TV Tower

Popular Areas

TV Tower is Brasilia’s highest point. Climb to its observation deck for sweeping city views that include Niemeyer’s architectural darlings. Any picture you take will become an instant postcard. The onsite café sells treats that are typically Brazilian; fresh pressed sugar cane juice, pamonhas (corn husk dumplings), and pastels (fried pie crusts with fillings). Why not try them all?

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Santuario Dom Bosco

Monuments

In Brasilia, dreamers are so beloved that churches are built to honour them. Enter Santuário Dom Bosco, designed in tribute to the dreams of João Bosco. The Italian saint’s visions of a wealthy city on a Brazilian plateau predicted the spot for this now booming metropolis. The indigo glass windows cast a cerulean light over the shrine, which channel a dream-like state.

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Itamaraty Palace

Monuments

Itamaraty Palace is powerful – and not simply because it houses the Foreign Ministry. Oscar Niemeyer and his overhead of architects built it in a minimal, Modernist style. The most stunning thing here is the stark, space-age design. The futuristic interior’s floating black stairs cases, bold lines, and snow-white walls are bound to drop your jaw.

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Square of the Three Powers

Landmarks

The holy trinity of government buildings. Politicians come to this massive square of palaces to divine over Brazil’s future. The inventive contours of these bone-white buildings command your attention. The slender-bodied “Os Guerreiros” statue strikes a pose in the middle; it’s homage to the workers who built Brasilia in four fast years.

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Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial

Monuments

President Juscelino Kubitschek oversaw the building of Brasilia. Now a 28-metre statue of his likeness stands watch over the city, forever immortalised in stone. Inside the statue, the politician’s bones lay at rest in a granite tomb. The tomb’s interior is lit in eerie red, making the visit equal parts mystical, mesmerising and ghostly.

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Parque da Cidade Dona Sarah Kubitschek

Parks

Don’t be daunted by the scale of the world’s largest urban park. Its fields are as accessible as they are enchanting. Shacks that sell fresh coconut water are scattered throughout. Sip and hydrate as you amble through sunflowers and Ipês trees. Fork-tailed flycatcher birds are as plentiful as joggers. Is that a Ferris wheel? The answer’s yes and your kids will love it.

Accommodations near Parque da Cidade Dona Sarah Kubitschek
  • Eixo Monumental Sul, Brasília DF
  • Open Monday-Sunday 05:00-00:00
Paranoa Lake

Landmarks

Brazilians love beaches, and who can blame them? South American sun pairs well with water. Thank god for this manmade oasis – because Brasilia is a thousand kilometres from the coast. It’s popular on weekends, when the beaches and piers explode with water-ready bodies. The JK bridge can be spotted from paddleboard or boat and is an icon of the city.

Accommodations near Paranoa Lake
  • Lago Paranoá
Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre

Popular Areas

The CCBB is a cultural oasis and acclaimed museum, wrapped up in one. Its edgy and contemporary exhibitions are never permanent, so locals visit just as much as tourists do. Drool over bistro Bom Demais’s tantalising empada de bacalhau. Lit-lovers shouldn’t miss adjoining bookshop Dom Quixote. Check online to see what’s on when you’re in town.

Accommodations near Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre

Accommodations and Hotels in Brasilia

Cullinan Hplus Premium

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2163 reviews

$53

Average price per night
  • SHN Quadra 4 Lote E, North Wing, Brasilia
Meliá Brasil 21

8.5 Very good

Score from 1952 reviews

$54

Average price per night
  • SHS Quadra 6 – Bl. B. D e F – Asa Sul , The Real Heart of Brasilia, Brasilia
Athos Bulcão Hplus Executive

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1942 reviews

$48

Average price per night
  • Setor Hoteleiro Norte quadra 5 bloco D, North Wing, Brasilia
Grand Bittar Hotel

7.8 Good

Score from 1633 reviews

$46

Average price per night
  • SHS QD.5 BL. A S/N, The Real Heart of Brasilia, Brasilia
Manhattan Plaza

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2984 reviews

$41

Average price per night
  • SHN Quadra 2, Bloco A, North Wing, Brasilia
Nobile Suites Monumental

8.1 Very good

Score from 1137 reviews

$47

Average price per night
  • SHN Quadra 04, Bloco B, North Wing, Brasilia
Allia Gran Hotel Brasília Suites

8.6 Excellent

Score from 1661 reviews

$46

Average price per night
  • SHN Qd. 05 - Asa Norte, North Wing, Brasilia
St Paul Plaza Hotel

8.3 Very good

Score from 2953 reviews

$40

Average price per night
  • SHS Quadra 2 Bloco H, The Real Heart of Brasilia, Brasilia
Royal Tulip Brasília Alvorada

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1050 reviews

$67

Average price per night
  • SHTN Trecho 1, Conjunto 1B, Bloco C, Brasilia
Discover Brasilia

Popular Neighborhoods in Brasilia

North Wing

52 properties

North Wing’s dwellers can be summed up in three words: young, wealthy, and bohemian. Birds chirp in trees along café-filled lanes and eating gourmet is easy as 1-2-3. Sip fresh-pressed juice, chow down on Brazilian pizza or be served “kibe” by dapper waiters in red tuxedos. The sky’s the limit in the city’s hippest ‘hood.

South Wing

33 properties

South Wing beams with city pride. This is where Brasilia’s first homes sprung up and where its moneyed families live, work and play. Finding fun – and samba spots – is easy as 1-2-3. Pier 21’s perfect for sun-seekers, and the area’s mega-malls sate shopper’s hunger. Joggers, run to the world’s largest urban park and find your exercise clan.

Monumental Axis

1 property

Urban planning 101. Of Brasilia’s perfectly designed districts, you don’t want to miss this one. You’ll need a car and a camera, because this treasure trove of Oscar Niemeyer architecture can’t be explored on foot. Known as a government area, civil servants work and spar inside his architectural masterpieces.

Local Tips for Brasilia

Pontão do Lago Sul
Glauce by Glauce

A travel enthusiast, Glauce enjoys spending time with her friends and trying new food (and beer).

Set next to Lake Paranoá, Pontão is also known as Brasilia’s Beach. During the weekends you can rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards. If you want to relax, stroll by the water to watch the sunset, or choose from a variety of restaurants and bars while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

  • SHIS Ql 10, Lote 1/30 - Lago Sul
  • Open Tuesday-Thursday 07:00-01:00, Friday-Saturday 07:00-02:00, Sunday-Monday 07:00-00:00
Salto do Itiquira Waterfall
Mariana by Mariana

A foodie and traveller, Mariana’s main passions include listening to live music, biking and cats.

Located 115 km from Brasilia, Salto do Itiquira Waterfall offers one of the most beautiful landscapes on the outskirts of the capital. One of the country’s largest waterfalls at almost 170 meters tall, a visit to this stunning place is an easy day trip that leads through the Goiás plateau.

  • Rodovia GO 440, KM 32 - Formosa
Sunset at Ermida Dom Bosco Park
Michelle by Michelle

Michelle loves spending time with her granddaughter and attending heavy metal concerts.

One of my favourite things to do in Brasília is watch the sunset from different places. Sunsets seen from Ermida Dom Bosco Park are especially amazing. It is definitely one of the best places to see the sky change colour, and it also has nice views over Brasília and Paranoá Lake.

  • Estrada Parque Dom Bosco, QI 29 - Lago Sul
  • Open Monday-Sunday 08:00-22:00

After Meetings

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Brasilia for food?

Brasilia is not a culinary capital in the way So Paulo is, however there are gems. I had the best ribs ever for lunch at Nossa Cozinha Bistro ( truly great cafe) and knocked back some lovely caipirinha and in-house beer with some of their Brazilian and Lebanese specialities at Bar Beirut, a Brasiliense institution

we took a city tour that was not completed due to a bus breaking-down. I think taxi are relatively affordable and a combination of taxi and public transportation will be OK. there are important places to visit in Brasilia.

Because of Oscar Niemayer

The food is typically Brazilian or you can get great food from other countries

Urban planning and architecture

Special city trip buses makes it classical. Organised city tour for tourist.

Visiting great architectural sights and musically, attending live shows

Transportation

Brasilia Transportation

Air – Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport

The airport is 10 km from Eixo Monumental Road, and a 15-minute drive from Setor Hoteleiro Norte and Setor Hoteleiro Sul, where many hotels are located. The quickest way to reach the city centre is by Taxi, costing between BRL 35-40. A shuttle bus connects the airport to the Esplanada dos Ministérios, North Hotelier Zone, Ulysses Guimarães Convention Centre and South Hotelier Zone. It runs every 30 minutes from 6:30-23:00, and the cash-only fare is BRL 8.

Taxi

Official taxis in Brasília are silver, white or grey with a green and yellow stripe on the two front doors. Taxis can be found on the airport’s ground floor. A ride to the city centre takes about 20-minutes. The starting tariff for taxis is BRL 4.51 with a cost of BRL 2.45 per km driven during the day, and BRL 3.12 per km driven after 22:00 on week days, after 15:00 on Saturdays and all day on Sundays and holidays. Rush hour is typically 7:00-9:00 and 17:00-19:00.

Metro

Brasília’s metro is generally of little use to most visitors since it only runs from the bus station along the Asa Sul to the satellite cities (neighbouring cities), and doesn't cover the hotel section or the Eixo Monumental. The metro runs Monday to Saturday 6:00-23:30 and Sundays and holidays 7:00-19:00. Tickets canbe purchased at the station counters and cost BRL 3 during the week and BRL 2 on weekends.

Bus

Buses run from the city’s south wing to the north wing, along W1 and W3 on the west side of Eixo Rodoviario (central thoroughfare) and on L1 and L3 on its east side. Traveling across town often means catching a bus going in the opposite direction. Along the Eixo Monumental buses labelled Plano Piloto Circular loop this main boulevard passing monuments, hotels and malls. Working hours vary according to bus line, and fares paid on board range from BRL 1.50-3.00.

Car

Brasília was designed specifically for cars. One of the big selling points of the original city plan was that traffic lights would be unnecessary since each intersection was designed to be a roundabout. Today there are traffic lights, but only a few. The main traffic rule is that the car that's already in the roundabout has the right of way. Traffic is relatively calm if drivers don’t break the roundabout rule. It is possible to rent a car in the airport.

Food in Brasilia

Top Restaurants in Brasilia

Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Il Basilico
Upscale Dining
Grill
Fogo de Chão
Upscale Dining
Brazilian
El Negro
  • 413 Norte, bloco C - lojas 3/13 - Asa Norte
  • Open Monday-Saturday 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-00:00, Sunday 12:00-17:00
  • elnegro.com.br
  • 0055 6130418775
Upscale Dining
Brazilian
Dali Camões
Upscale Dining
Portuguese
Dali Camões
Upscale Dining
Brazilian
Piantella
Mid-Range Fare
Brazilian
Severina
Cheap Eats
Brazilian
Naturetto Família
  • 403 Sul, bloco C - lojas 16 a 22 - Asa Sul
  • Open Monday-Thursday 11:00-15:00 and 18:00-00:00, Friday-Saturday 11:00-15:00 and 18:00-01:00, Sunday 11:00-16:00
  • www.facebook.com
  • 0055 613216546
Mid-Range Fare
French
L'Entrecôte de Paris
Mid-Range Fare
Brazilian
Inácia Poulet Rôti
Cheap Eats
Brazilian
Confraria Chico Mineiro
Upscale Dining
Japanese
New Koto
  • 212 Sul, bloco C - loja 20
  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-23:00, Sunday 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-22:00
  • 0055 6133469668
Mid-Range Fare
Seafood
Muqueca do Chefe
Cheap Eats
Seafood
Peixe na Rede
  • 309 Norte, bloco B - lojas 36 a 48 - Asa Norte
  • Open Tuesday-Thursday 12:00-23:00, Friday-Saturday 12:00-00:00, Sunday 12:00-17:00
  • 0055 6133406937
Cheap Eats
Indian
A Tribo
Cheap Eats
Brazilian
Feitiço Mineiro
Upscale Dining
Grill
Porcão
  • Lago Paranoá – SCES / SUL, Trecho 2, Conjunto 35
  • Open Monday-Thursday 12:00-00:00, Friday-Saturday 12:00-00:30, Sunday 12:00-22:00
  • www.porcao.com.br
  • 0055 6137176000
Cheap Eats
Portuguese
Casa do Bacalhau
Mid-Range Fare
Japanese
Soho
  • Pontão do Lago Sul, QL 10 - lote 22 - Lago Sul
  • Open Monday 19:00-01:00, Tuesday-Thursday 12:00-01:00, Friday-Saturday 12:00-02:00, Sunday 12:00-00:00
  • www.sohobrasilia.com
  • 0055 6133643979
Mid-Range Fare
International
Mormaii Surf
Mid-Range Fare
Latin American
Caleuche
Cheap Eats
Brazilian
Alpinus
Mid-Range Fare
Brazilian
Esquina Mineira
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Hostaria dei Sapori
Cheap Eats
Italian
Veloce Ristorante Italiano
  • Deck Brasil Shopping, QI 11, bloco O - loja 5 - Lago Sul
  • Open Monday-Friday 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-23:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-23:00
  • 0055 6133642477
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