Brasília, the capital of Brazil and the seat of government of the Distrito Federal, is a planned city. Inaugurated in 1960 in the Central Highlands of Brazil, it is a masterpiece of modernist architecture listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and attracts architecture aficionados worldwide. Brasilia is also an important transportation hub for travel within Brazil.
The basic structure of Brasilia was completed in just four years, from 1956 to 1960, under the leadership of President Juscelino Kubitschek, with the slogan "fifty years of progress in five", and the city is in a sense a memorial to him. The cathedral has six columns representing two hands reaching up to almighty heaven.
The city is designed in the shape of a giant bird or airplane, with various separated zones assigned for specific functions such as housing, commerce, hospitals and banking. Running down the center of the "airplane's" fuselage is the thoroughfare called the Eixo Monumental ("Monumental Axis") and at one end lay the government buildings. The arched "wings" are residential zones, with several rows of medium-rise apartment blocks with small commercial districts. The intersection is the commercial and cultural hub, with stores, hotels, and the cathedral. A huge artificial lake serves the city as both a leisure area and to diminish the effects of low humidity in drier months (see Climate below).
Fifty-three years after its creation (1960), Brasilia is still developing a culture of its own. The city has often been criticized as a failed utopia where rationalized modernist planning has buried the human element. Yet Brazilians are quite proud of their capital, embodying a vision of a future when Brazil is no longer considered merely a "developing" country.
Orientation and addresses
Panorama of Esplanada dos Ministérios
, Congress and Cathedral
Brasilia's commercial zone
Getting a grasp of Brasilia's addresses may be a little perplexing at first, as they are usually shortened to acronyms. Here are some useful tips:
The Monumental Axis divides the city into north and south sectors. Acronyms ended in N refer to sectors on the northern side, while those ended in S are on the south.
- SHS/SHN - Hotel sectors (Setor Hoteleiro)
- SCS/SCN - Commercial sectors (Setor Comercial)
- SQS/SQN - Residential sectors (Superquadras)
- CLS/CLN (or SCLS/SCLN) - Local commerce sectors (Comércio Local) along the wings.
- SES/SEN - Embassies sector (Setor de Embaixadas)
Temperatures seldom hit extremes. 17°C to 28°C (63 to 82°F) are the average lows and highs, but it can get as low as 1°C (34°F) in winter and get as hot as 34°C (92°F) in September/October. In dry season (August–September) the city's landscape, normally very green, becomes desert-like and everyone must drink lots of water to prevent the unpleasant effects of dehydration. On the other hand, during those months the city is blessed with a gorgeous sunset in spectacular shades of orange, pink and red. The best months to go are probably May and June - still green, but no longer so hot, with fewer chances of rainfall.
Official tourist info can be obtained from State Secretariat of Tourism of the Distrito Federal (in Portuguese).
There are also stands in the airport, the new rodoviaria and the Praça dos Três Poderes.
Due to long distances and falling prices in air travel, flying has become a practical way of getting to Brasilia. The city is a national air travel hub, and there should be plenty of flights. In fact you may find your plane touching down at Brasilia airport even if you're not starting or ending anywhere near, such as Salvador to Belém. On the other hand, despite being a major international capital, getting in directly from abroad is difficult in most cases. Most flights are domestic, and you will have to go through Brazilian customs and immigration elsewhere and re-board. However, there are currently several international non-stop flights from: Orlando (TAM), Buenos Aires (Aerolineas Argentinas), Paris (Air France), Lisbon (TAP Portugal), Bogotá (AviancaTaca) , Miami (TAM Brazil) and (American Airlines), Panama City (COPA), Montevideo (Pluna), Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Amaszonas Airlines), Atlanta (Delta Airlines), Punta Cana (TAM), and seasonal to Santiago and Aruba (GOL).
Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport (IATA: BSB), Brasília's airport (phone:+55 61 3364-9000, fax: +55 61 3364-9251), is situated 11 km (7 mi) from the city center and has one of the few tourist information services in town (phone +55 61 3033.9488, from 7:30AM-10:30PM). It also has an exchange office at the arrivals area, another one at Banco do Brasil (open Mo-Fri 11:00-16:00, departures area) and several ATMs.
There is an Executive Bus from airport to hotel zone and the central region for R$10.
Taxis are annother convenient means of getting from the airport into the city. They are relatively expensive for Brazilian standards and the 20-minute drive to the hotel zone should cost about R$30–40. Regular buses number 102 and 102.1 are frequent and significantly cheaper. They link the airport to the main bus terminal at Rodoviária, from where you can catch buses or the subway to other parts of the city.
Due to its central location, Brasilia is well served by a bus network that connects it with the rest of Brazil. Travel times are about 15 hours from São Paulo, 18 hours from Rio, 10 hours from Belo Horizonte and 3 hours from Goiânia. Buses from other states arrive at a dedicated bus station called rodoviária (phone:+55 61 3234-2185), that is located at the central road (EPIA) and is connected to the city center by bus (number 131, frequency each 10–20 minutes, from 5AM to midnight) and taxis.
Drivers coming from southern and Center-west states will arrive by the Saída Sul entrance. From other states, you'll enter Brasilia by Saída Norte. After you're inside the Federal District, keep following the Brasília indicating traffic signs and Zona Central if you're staying at the hotel sector.
The Eixo Rodoviário Road, that crosses the city's south, central, and north sectors, can be identified by the characteristics double strip of yellow raised pavement markers (Cat's eye) separating the two lanes of the road.
Rent a car, ride the buses, take a cab, hitchhike, but whatever you do, don't plan on getting around Brasilia on foot. The city was designed under the assumption that every resident would own use public transport considering the population a quarter of it is today. Obviously things didn't turn out that way, and the city's public transport is not quite a solution to an almost deliberately designed problem. Fortunately it works fairly well some hours of the day. Note that the roads have few crosswalks or traffic lights, so being a pedestrian also requires some caution.
Most local buses start from or go through the rodoviária, at the precise center of the city, and run along the "wings" - serving the residential zones - or through the Monumental Axis.
Some bus lines are very useful for moving around, as they link the central area of Brasilia (Setor Comercial, Setor de Diversões etc.) to Esplanada dos Ministérios, the airport and some of the main avenues (L2 and W3). These used to be stripped red-and-white buses called "zebrinhas" (little zebras) but now they are only distinguished from other bus lines by their numbers.
Unlike many other Brazilian cities, passengers in Brasilia board buses by the front door. Buses must be flagged, otherwise they will only stop when a passenger requests to hop off.
Single fares are R$3.00 for travel within Brasília. There is no advance sale of tickets, pay as you board.
Taxis are relatively expensive in Brasilia and usually cannot be hailed on the streets. Taxi stands, however, are close to all tourist attractions and any hotel will be able to call a cab or provide the phone number of the best known dispatch offices. All taxis must have taximeters and can start charging only after the passenger has boarded. When arriving at Brasilia airport, taxis are located immediately outside the arrival terminal. Although the airport is not far from downtown Brasilia, taxi prices are expensive compared to other cities in Brazil, and often there can be a long wait before a taxi become available. Pre-booking taxis or airport transfers is possible, although somewhat limited, through companies such as Brazil Airport Transfers. UberX is recommended to going anywhere when less than 05$, otherwise, mix it with buses and subway.
The Metrô subway system started operating in 2001. Its Y-shaped line starts in the main bus station (Rodoviária de Brasília - "Central" station) and makes its first stop at Setor Comercial Sul ("Galeria" station), which is fairly near some hotels South of Monumental Axis. It runs along the south wing, stopping at blocks 102, 108, 112 and 114, then going through suburbs. The subway uses to operate 6AM-11:30PM from Monday to Friday (some stations stop selling tickets at 10:30PM), and from 7AM-7PM on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Its common to be offered special timelines on some holidays, like New Year's Eve and the April 21st (city's anniversary).
It's not particularly useful for tourists, as it does not visit the main attractions but does stop at attractions such as the Buddhist Temple (EQS 115/116, access by "114 Sul" Station). Single fare: R$5.00 (R$3.80 with the rechargeable metro card). Some stops are still under construction (Jun 2018) and are indicated with a black dot (as opposed to white dot) on the metro map.
Before going on the subway remember to have pocket money in small bills or coins - the Metro doesn't accept credit cards and won't give change above R$20.
If you are not using "city tour" services, it would be a good idea to have a car available. The urbanistic plan of Brasilia was highly based on individual motorized transportation, so it is not surprising that a visit to the city will be much more pleasing having a car.
Unlike other Brazilian big cities, traffic in Brasilia is not a major problem, although there are some jams during rush hours.
There are public parking lots available at main sites, although it can be hard to find spots sometimes. As in other Brazilian towns, there usually are some "watchers", people that offers to watch your car (supposedly to protect it from robbers), expecting to get some money in return; they usually behave like beggars, although they can turn violent towards the cars if not paid, scratching or chipping the paint job, so it would avoid some trouble to just give a little money, something around 2 reais. If it bothers you, you can always park your car a little further from the main destinations, where there are no watchers, or in a paid garage, when available.
Also, drivers behave a little differently than in other places in Brazil:
- Stop at pedestrian crossings - pedestrians will wave a hand before crossing or usually simply start walking. Keep an eye on the sidewalks at all times. Policemen enforce this rule and you can get fined if you disrespect it. Other cities are beginning to enforce this law as well.
- Use of horns - do not honk unless you really need to for safety reasons. Brasilienses hate it and really appreciate their driving to be as silent as possible.
It is paramount to have a detailed map in hand when driving through the city, especially in the central area. It is far more convenient to have a good GPS system or using of Waze and Google Maps, because the access of some streets can be confusing, as there are lots of elevated interchanges and ramps. Do not expect the signs to be clear and ubiquitous, there are no signs telling you on what avenue you are on and streets rarely intersect. Smaller streets do not have names as they are defined by being between this and that square. This said, once you have understood the logic that rules ramps and intersections, theoretically you can throw your map away.
- Brasilia Cathedral, Esplanada dos Ministérios lote 12 - Brasília. Mon and Sat 8AM-5PM, Tue-Fri and Sun 8AM-6PM. With its sixteen curved 90-ton concrete pillars and stained-glass panels, is one of the world's most amazing modernist buildings. edit
- Brasilia National Museum, Setor Cultural Sul, Lote 2 próximo à Rodoviária do Plano Piloto, Brasília (Near the Brasilia Cathedral), . Brasilia's museum built to be the city's home for renowned national and international exhibitions. As of 2012, the outside space has become a regular venue to free concerts and events, and very popular for skating, but its collections are temporary and severely lacking both in size and importance. However, give it a try, it's free. edit
- CAIXA Cultural, Lotes 3/4, SBS Q. 4 - Asa Sul, Brasília, . Interesting permanent display of historical items. Usually holds photography, musical concerts, movies and contemporary arts exhibitions. Entrance is free most of the time. edit
- Congresso Nacional (Palácio do Congresso Nacional), Praça dos Três Poderes - Brasilia. 9:00-17:00. Daily, Brazilian National Congress offers a guided visit. It starts every half hour from 9AM, in Salão Negro (access the main ramp). It lasts for 50 minutes. Note that you cannot enter wearing shorts and slippers from monday to friday. Free entrance. edit
- Espaço Cultural Contemporâneo (ECCO), St. de Grandes Áreas Norte - Asa Norte, Brasília. A gallery that has many works of contemporary art. Mostly sculpture and paintings. edit
- Itamaraty Palace, Zona Cívico-Administrativa BL H - Brasília. guided visits from 2PM-4:30PM on weekdays and Sat-Sun 10AM-3:30PM. Houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stands out among the ministry buildings at Esplanada dos Ministérios for its beautiful architecture and sculptures. edit
- Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial, Eixo Monumental - Lado Oeste - Praça do Cruzeiro, Brasília (on the western part of the axis, the city's highest location). Museum dedicated to the life and accomplishments of the president, and houses his remains as well. It's located underground and has a slightly spooky 1960's science-fiction feel to it. edit
- National Theater Claudio Santoro, Setor Cultural Teatral Norte - Asa Norte, DF, Brazil, . Brasilia's main theatre features 3 main halls for plays and concerts, art galleries and temporary art exhibitions. edit
- Palace of Dawn (Palácio da Alvorada). The President's official residence, by the Paranoá lake. Not open to visitors. Its arches are icons of the capital. edit
- Palace of Justice, Praça dos Três Poderes - Brasilia. The façade has waterfalls that contrast with its stern geometrical beauty. edit
- Public works of art. Some of the finest Brazilian artists have created works in Brasilia: Burle Marx (landscape design), Athos Bulcão (geometric tile panels), Oscar Niemeyer (buildings and sculptures) Ceschiatti and Bruno Giorgio (sculptures). These can be seen on the streets, open air and for free. edit
- Television Tower. Tu-Su 08h-20h. In the middle of the Monumental axis, it used to be the best place for a sweeping panorama of the city, until the opening of the new Digital Tower. It's the second best now. There is also a crafts and typical food market at the base of the tower. Entrance is free. edit
- Three Powers Square (Praça dos Três Poderes), (at the eastern end of the Monumental Axis). Includes the seats of the country's 3 highest authorities: the Congress, the Presidential Palace (called Palácio do Planalto) and the Supreme Court. The axis itself is aligned such that on April 21 (Tiradentes Day, marking the death of the Brazilian independence martyr), the sun rises precisely between the two towers of Congress. The bronze statue of two abstract figures is named Os Candangos and represents the pioneering spirit of the workers who built the city. There's also a "blind justice" statue by the Supreme Court, a small museum about Juscelino Kubitschek, the Pantheon, the Eternal Flame monument, and a model, built to scale, of Brasilia itself, in an underground space. edit
Along the Wings
Bridge over the Paranoa Lake
- Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), Asa sul Trecho 2 - Brasília, DF, 70200-002, . Holds all kinds of exhibitions and cultural events. Russian paintings, musical concerts, documentaries, plays, thematic movie festivals, photography, you name it. There is no permanent exhibition or attraction so you've to check the program before going or just go there and enjoy what's available. The easier way to reach it is through its own free bus line that runs from the city center and back. edit
- City Park (Parque da Cidade), Condomínio do Saint Paul Park Hotel - da Cidade Estacionamento 9, Brasília - DF. This wide green area is the city's hot spot for sports such as jogging, cycling, skating and even kart racing, as well as barbecues and other outdoor activities. edit
- Espaço Cultural Renato Russo, Rua Crs 508 s/n, Brasília - DF, 70351-515, . A government-maintaned building for cultural events. Commonly used for musical concerts and plays. No official schedule available. edit
- Our Lady of Fatima Church, EQS 307/308, s/n, SHCS, Brasília - DF, 70354-400. Known as 'Igrejinha' (Little Church). edit
- Paranoá Lake. Pontoon has lakeside restaurants and a park while the Ermida Dom Bosco (near SHIS QI 29, bus line 100/123) chapel provides gorgeous views of the city from across the Lake, an excellent place to watch Brasilia's famous sunsets. You can swim in the lake at the Ecological Park next to the Ermida. edit
- Park of Olhos D'Água (Parque Olhos D'Água), Quadra 413 e 414 - Asa Norte, Brasília - DF, 70876-000. A park in the northern wing of the city that is mainly used for jogging. It also has many springs, streams and a small pond. Many of its facilities include a playground and two outdoor gyms. edit
- São João Bosco sanctuary (Santuário São João Bosco), SEPS Quadra 702 - Asa Sul, Brasília - DF, 70330-710. Beautiful modern church built on concrete and blue stained glass. Bosco was a 19th-century Italian priest whose writings, some say, prophesied the creation of Brasilia. It's impossible not to notice the huge crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the square church. edit
- Universidade de Brasília, . Features very interesting modern architecture, from the 60s until the 2010s. Its Olympic Center is by the lake; not much visited by tourists, but has some nice options for hiking/jogging/swimming. Also, large public university known for programs in science, international relations & mathematics. edit
Outside the wings
- Blue Well (Poço Azul), Brazlândia, Brasilia - Federal District. A waterfall forming beautiful blue pools on a quartz rock. edit
- Brasilia National Park, s/n, Sman - Zona Industrial, Brasília - DF, 70635-800. Vegetation and fauna, plus natural swimming pools. edit
- Don Bosco Chapel (Ermida Dom Bosco), SEDB - Lago Sul, Brasília - DF, 70297-400. monument, chapel, and park on the edge of the lake, dedicated to an Italian monk who prophesied the construction of a new civilization at the site of Brasilia. edit
- TV Digital Tower (Cerrado Flower), 001 - Lago Norte, Brasília - DF, 70000-000. Newest TV tower that was inaugurated on April 21, 2012. Designed by Niemeyer. It's 180 m tall, from which 120 m are a concrete structure, and the rest the metallic structure of the TV antenna. Two glass observatories complete the structure. The highest one, 80 m above the floor, will contain a restaurant with a panoramic view. The other one will be used as an art gallery. edit
- Basketball - If you happen to be in Brasilia between January and June, you should not miss the games of Brasilia's home team Universo BRB for the national league of basketball. Runner-up of the 2009 season, Universo is well known for playing great games and drawing a big audience (for Brazilian standards), which peaked 11.000 people during the 2009 finals. The season games happens in 'Clube da CEB' (CEB's club), at SGAS 904. Ticket costs R$10.00. If you actually want to play basketball, the city's park has plenty of courts available for public use. Your best chance to catch some locals playing is going on the weekends.
- Jogging - Brasilia's most popular sport by far. There are running tracks in the National Park and in the City's Park. The Eixo Rodoviario road is closed to traffic on Sundays (8h-18h) and can be also used for jogging, cycling and skating. Jogging on weekends in the City's Park is one the most popular activities among locals. Don't miss the coconut water vendors. Besides that, 5 km and 10 km races happens almost bi-monthly.
- Wakeboard - Wakescola de Brasília. The only wakeboard school in the city. Tel +55 61 3380-2171 / +55 61 9982-3562. Expensive.
Brasilia's residential wings have many local shops such as groceries, drugstores, bakers, restaurants, hairdressers and so forth, and that is where townspeople do much of their daily shopping. The now somewhat decadent W3 avenue used to be the equivalent of a city's high street and still concentrates a large portion of the city's street commerce. Shopping malls, however, also play an important part when it comes to shopping in town.
- The Setor de Diversões is a fairly nice shopping area at the center of the city, very close to Rodoviaria. The northern side, called Conjunto Nacional, is a bit more upscale, while the southern side has interesting small shops with books, music, and clothing that appeal to the local skateboard-riding youths. Notice that this southern side at night is very dangerous, being the favorite spot for hookers and drug dealers.
- On Sundays there is a flea market at the base of the Television Tower. Half of the stands are also open during the week and you can get local crafts and souvenirs hard to find in shopping malls.
Some off-center places can also be of interest for travellers:
- The imports market (popularly known as Feira do Paraguai) is the place to go for cheap electronics (cameras and replacement accessories, batteries etc.) and other travel items such as backpacks, flashlights and so forth. From Rodoviaria, take bus 124.2 (shorter trip) or bus 124.
- Records and books - FNAC, at the Parkshopping mall has a good assortment of English-language travel guides and Brazilian music CDs. Livraria Cultura, at the Casa Park mall, has bilingual staff and an extensive collection of Brazilian CDs and foreign-language literature (especially in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German). Both malls are close to each other and can be easily reached by subway through the (almost self-explanatory named) Shopping station.
Brasilia does not have a traditional, regional cuisine. Nevertheless, restaurants serve food from many Brazilian states, as well as international fare.
Self-service (por quilo) restaurants are very common and usually cheaper than their à la carte counterparts.
Most of Brasilia's "real" (table service) restaurants are located at the residential wings, usually a bus or taxi ride away from most tourist attractions. One of the most popular streets is the CLS 405 (from rodoviaria, take bus 114), with choices ranging from sushi to Brazilian, Mexican and French food.
Regarding tips, visitors are expected to pay at least 10% of the bill. Such amount is commonly printed on the invoice and most of the time it's OK to include the tip in your credit/debit card since most of the restaurants share the total amount with all employees. Self-service restaurants usually don't charge tips.
- A convenient place for finding reasonably priced food is the food court of the Conjunto Nacional mall (also see Buy, above). The mall is located right beside the main bus terminal (rodoviaria) and at walking distance from many hotels and of the main attractions such as the Three Powers Square.
- Arrumadinho - CLN413 Bloco E. This is the place to taste the best of Northeastern food at a very reasonable price. Arrumadinho and Feijaozinho are the specialties of the houve.
- SCLS 201. Right beside Banco Central's main building, this street is packed with cheap self-service restaurants and a few ranging from mid-range to splurge.
- Local chain Giraffas (several locations around town) rivals McDonalds in the fast food market by serving sandwiches and cheap beef/chicken + rice-and-beans set meals.
- Green's has lots of options for vegetarians or people craving healthy food. Imagine, sprouts! They also have fish and meat. (That is definitely not a cheap place)
- Velha Guarda 302 Norte, Bloco D - It may be the most Brazilian experience a foreign visitor could have, a cheap and totally "out of the beaten path" reataurant. Very simple profile and accommodations, but very well served in what matters, the food. They have "menu of the day", which varies along the week but always with a huge portion of beef/poultry/pork plus salad, egg and rice & beans. Price: R$9.00
- Don Durica – SCLN 201, Bloco A, +55 61 3326-1045. (Mo-Sat 11:30AM-3PM/6PM-midnight). This all-you-can-eat buffet offers more than 50 dishes for lunch, mainly from Minas Gerais cuisine.
- Vegetarians may try and escape ubiquitous meat dishes of Brazilian cuisine at Bardana - SCLS 405 bloco A, +55 61 3242-3532. Try the tropical juices too.
- Bottarga Ristorante - SHIS QI 05 conjunto 09 - +55 61 3248-4828 - Tue-Sat 12:30-15:00 and 20:00-00:00. Sun 12:30-16:30. French-Italian inspired cuisine. Main dishes from R$49 (simple risotto) to R$99. Good selection of wines (for Brasilia).
Despite not being particularly famous for its nightlife, Brasilia has some hangouts that save visitors from night-time boredom.
Please observe that smoking in the dancefloor is not allowed - all clubs have an smoking area, so people can smoke (or just get some fresh air) without leaving the club.
- Beirute - CLS 109 Bloco A (near 108 Sul metro station), +55 61 3244-1717, . Opens daily, until 2AM. One of the oldest and most traditional bars in town, serves reasonably priced beer and Arab food, and attracts a mixed crowd of students, journalists, gay people and intellectuals. Is also one of the best places to pick up flyers and find out the best parties to go.
- Club 904 - SGAS 904 - Asa Sul +55 61 3224-5519. It hosts two of the parties that gathers most of the youth in the city. 5uinto on Thursdays, an electronic music party and Play!, on Fridays, a rock music party.
- Victrola - CLN413 Bloco E, Asa Norte, do lado do Parque Olhos D'Agua, +55 61 3032.2626 (whatsapp: +55 61 98333.3066). Famous for its 4000 vynil records this pub is not only a place to listen to good music, but also a nice option for delicious finger food and local and international draft Beer. If you arrive before 21:00 you may enjoy cocktail double shot if you order youself through the website. 
- Pôr-do-Sol - CLN 408 BL C, s/n lj 24 - Asa Norte. +55 61 3274-8861. Favorite bar of University of Brasília students. It is always crowded, so it is a great place to see different people. The beer doesn't get any cheaper elsewhere. You have to get it on the counter, though. You can see the youth of Brasília over here, drinking beer and talking about anything. Some consider the whole 408 quadra as a sort of "alcoholic set-up", due to the many bars.
- UK Brasil Pub - SCLS 411 BL B Lj. 28 - Asa Sul. +55 61 3346-5214. Live music with local bands, mostly covers of famous bands. Doesn't accept credit cards. There's a separate room where you can smoke. Tu-Sa from 18h. 
- Landscape Pub - SHIN CA 7, Bloco F-1 - loja 33 - Lago Norte. +55 61 3468-4678. This pub has two floors: the dancefloor and a dancefloor-lounge upstairs, and an external area when you can smoke, chat and meet new people. It's a reduct of the underground scene of Brasilia (there you can hear Beatles, Strokes and some new DJs).
- Água Doce Cachaçaria - CLS 412, Bl A Lj 3 - Asa Sul (near 112 Sul metro station) +55 61 3345-7169. Specialized in cachaça, the Brazilian destilled beverage made of sugar cane. Opens Tuesday to Sunday until 2AM.
- Bonnaparte - SHS Quadra 02 Bloco J, S/N - Setor Hoteleiro Sul - Brasília - DF - Brasil - 70322-901 The bar is in principle like a canteen with 3-4 TV sets. Keep away from this place, especially if you are on a budget trip. They don't informe you about the entrance fee before you leave. It will cost you 36 reais for a single beer
Although the city's music scene is no longer as vibrant as it was in the 80s - when it bred some of the greatest pop/rock talents of recent generations with bands like Capital Inicial and Legião Urbana - live shows of local bands are frequent. Daily listings in Portuguese can be found at the local newspapers or the Correioweb and Candango websites.
Most of the city's accommodation is located at the Hotel Sectors (SHS and SHN), two central areas located on both sides of Eixo Monumental. During weekdays, hotels are usually busy due to the capital's political activity and it is advisable to book in advance. Typical prices are R$200 for a double room and R$95 for a single. Most ot the hotels have an off-price for the weekends.
Many simple pousadas are located at W3 Sul avenue. They are often non-regulated by tourist authorities and their quality and security may vary greatly. In 2008, the local authorities shut these pousadas; do not rely on them existing anymore.
Designed by Oscar Neimeyer and inaugurated in 1958, this hotel completes the Brasilia/Neimeyer experience. It was the first hotel in the city. Recently revamped maintaining the strict modernist 60's style.
Always remember though, never show off any of your 'splurging'. Not only will this be considered as an insult to less fortunate citizens, you will be an advertising for a mugging.
Brasilia is a safe city, but usual measures should be taken. At night, the area near the central bus station is not considered to be safe (prostitution and drugs). Avoid walking alone at night throughout the city.
There are an increasing number of cases of "flash kidnap". This consists of attacking people near or inside their own car, robbing and getting away with the car, and sometimes driving with the owner to make them withdraw money from automatic cash machines or even committing other kinds of violence. The local Police give some advice  on how to avoid these crimes:
- Try to walk with company, avoiding deserted places or those with bad illumination. Be aware of people approaching to ask for information, especially during the night;
- When coming out of a bank, verify if you are being followed or if there are suspicious people near the vehicle;
- Approaching your car, have the keys ready, to make it easier to get into the car;
- Going home (or to your hotel), do not park immediately. Watch the sides of the buildings and corners and only then stop the vehicle. Do not react to any kind of crime, as the criminals do not act alone.
Police officers are usually polite, but as they have to deal with considerable violence they might appear harsh in situations when they have to be alert. Respect is the key for good interaction. In case of police intervention at a crime (i.e. when they withdraw their guns), lay down on the floor and put your hands on your head and don't make any subtle movement. Do not react if searched. Follow instructions and, as it is possible, inform someone of your situation by phone.
To get police assistance, dial 190 in any public or private phone. For medical emergency, dial 192. Be mindful that English-speaking operators may not readily available, and you will be facing a language barrier.
Although drug consumption does not lead to incarceration, it is still a crime in Brazil, and being caught with small amounts of illegal substances may lead to bureaucratic complications when leaving the country. Selling or transporting drugs for use of others is considered trafficking, a very serious crime, and will lead to severe consequences. So, do not use or carry drugs of any kind.
The area code to Brasilia and region is 61 (also add Brazil's 55 if dialing from abroad). All 7-digit telephone numbers have recently been converted to 8-digit by adding a 3 before the number. To reach a number like 241-0000 from abroad, dial +55 61 3241-0000.
- Neon Lights cybercafe , SRTVS, Patio Brasil mall - 2nd Floor, +55 61 3322-8060, [email protected]- Conveniently located inside a large shopping mall next to the South Hotel Sector. Opens Mo-Sat 10AM-10PM. R$6/hour.
- Media Cyber - Brasilia Shopping mall, G1 floor. +55 61 3201-7300. Next to the North Hotel Sector. Has printing and scanning services and sells disks and recordable CDs. Most expensive Cyber ever R$8/hour.
- RedShot, SCLS 409 Bloco D Loja 30 (from rodoviaria, take bus 114). +55 61 3443-4359 - This lan house is aimed primarily at gamers, but has cheaper connections. Opens daily from 10AM. R$3–4/hour
There are also many Wi-fi hotspots scattered around town, including the food court of the airport and various hotels.
- Canada, SES - Av. das Nações, Quadra 803, Lote 16 70410-900 Brasília DF – Brazil, ☎ +55 61 3424-5400 (fax: +55 61 3424-5490), . Monday - Thursday: 8:30 - 13:00, 14:00 - 17:30 Friday: 8:30 - 14:00. edit
- China, Q813, Lote 51, Avenida das Nações, ☎ +55 61-21958200 (fax: +55 61-3463299), . edit
- Egypt, S.E.N. Avenida das Nações, Lote 12, 70435-900, ☎ +55 61-3323-8800 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3323-1039), . edit
- Italy", S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 807, Lote 30, 70420.900, ☎ +55 61-3442-9900 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3443-1231), . edit
- Germany, Avenida das Nações, Lote 25, Quadra 807, 70415-900, ☎ +55 61-3442-7000 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3443-7508), . edit
- Greece, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 805 Lote 22, 70480-900 Brasilia DF, ☎ +55 61-3443 6573, Emergencies: +55 61-8128 2822 (, [email protected], fax: +55 61-3443 6902), . edit
- Israel, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 809 Lote 38, 70424-900 Brasilia DF, ☎ +55 61-2105-0500 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-2105-0555), . edit
- Japan, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 811, Lote 39, ☎ +55 61-3442-4200 (fax: +55 61-3242-0738), . edit
- Morocco, S.E.N. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 80, 70432-900 Brasilia DF, ☎ +55 61-3321-4487 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3321-0745), . edit
- Turkey, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 805 Lote 23, 70452-900 Brasilia DF, ☎ +55 61-3242-1850 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3242-1448), . edit
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 801 Lote 8, 70408-900 Brasilia DF, ☎ +55 61-3329-2300 ([email protected], fax: +55 61-3329-2369), . edit
- United States of America, S.E.S. Avenida das Nações, Quadra 801, Lote 03, ☎ +55 61-3312-7000 (, [email protected], fax: +55 61-3312-7651), . edit
- Venezuela, Av. das Nações Qd. 803 Lote 13, ☎ +55 61-2101-1010 (fax: +55 61-3321-0871), . edit
Nearby attractions include:
- Pirenopolis - an old Portuguese colonial town surrounded by several waterfalls.
- Chapada dos Veadeiros - A National Park with plenty of cerrado wildlife and spectacular waterfalls.
- Itiquira waterfall - this beautiful 168m-high waterfall is little more than 100 km from Brasilia, a safe and pleasant 2-hour drive going northwest; exit the city through the Ponte do Bragueto and continue on highway BR020 to Planaltina and then Formosa.
- Alto Paraiso de Goias - 230 km North of Brasilia. It's the main gate to the Chapada dos Veadeiros region. It's also known from its hippies and esoteric communities.
- Cavalcante - 320 km north of Brasilia. It's part of the Chapada dos Veadeiros national park. Also known from the Kalunga communitties, descendants of escaped slaves.
- Caldas Novas -300 km south of Brasília. Caldas Novas is popular for its hot springs that attract travellers all year round.