Everything You Need to Know about Brasilia, Capital of Brazil

Brasilia, Goias City view
Fernando Bueno / Getty Images

The capital city of Brazil is a planned city that was built in an area that previously had very little population or industry before the 1950s, and was chosen in a central location that the planners hoped would create a more unified country.

One of the most interesting aspects of the city is that they brought in some of South America's leading architects to help plan the city, and the area has some lovely green areas and some wonderful examples of architecture.

The city was designed to resemble a large bird, with the commercial and administrative buildings in the center, and then two wings of residential housing and small commercial areas to each side.

The History and Architectural Highlights of Brasilia

The architects and city planners that helped make Brasilia what it is today were Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, with Roberto Burle Marx contributing to the design of the city.

The Cathedral in Brasilia is one of the greatest attractions for those who enjoy modern architecture, as it stands out with its dramatic curves and use of glass in what is a modernist design. The Three Powers Square is the grandest view in the city, with three sides of the square occupied by the National Congress, the Presidential Palace, and the Supreme Court.

Key Sites to Enjoy During Your Trip

The park around Paranoa Lake is one of the nicest places to visit in the city, as it has a nice area for swimming, along with being home to the official residence of the Brazilian President, and the dramatic arches of the bridge over the lake.

To get a great view of the city and to really appreciate the planning that went into the design of the city, taking a trip to the observation platforms on the TV Digital Tower is a good way to enjoy the view. In the west of the city, the Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial is dedicated to the president who drove the decision to move Brazil's capital to Brasilia.

What to Do During Your Time in Brasilia

Although Brasilia doesn't have an extensive history, there are still plenty of things to do during your stay, and if you are on a budget then the Brasilia National Museum is free, and hosts a series of exhibitions on Brazilian history, while also hosting regular events.

Those with an interest in politics can take a tour of the National Congress building, which is a building with a great dramatic design. The city is also home to a great range of public art exhibitions, and taking a tour to see the different exhibition sites is well worth doing if you get the opportunity.

Where to Stay in Brasilia

When it comes to finding hotels in the city, if you are looking for top-end accommodation, then you will find no shortage of options such as the Brasilia Alvorada Hotel and the Sonesta Hotel Brasilia, with luxury accommodation having flourished in this city where the powerful people from each region visit.

If you are on a budget, then the Via W3 Sul is probably your best bet, with the Hospedagem Alternativa and several small pousadas offering reasonably priced beds in the capital.

Getting Around The City

The design of Brasilia features many aspects, but one of the biggest things to remember is that it is designed for those getting around by vehicle, as even the city center is spread over a relatively large area.

The bus routes all tend to converge at the Rodoviaria at the heart of the city and tend to be quite efficient. If you are staying near one of the subway stations, this Y-shaped line is good for getting quickly into the city center, with discounts for transport on weekends.