Brasilia was inaugurated as Brazil’s capital on 21st April 1960. Ever since the late 18th century, the government had been planning to move the nation’s capital, which was originally Salvador and later Rio de Janeiro, inland to protect against maritime attack.

The city is famous for its bold design, the basic layout resembling a plane. The body of the plane contains government buildings, a cathedral, and a television tower, while the wings of the plane contain commercial and residential buildings.

Brasilia is known for its modern architecture and for being an environmentally friendly city, with a number of green areas throughout the city.


Brasilia Cathedral has an innovative design, with 16 curved columns representing a pair of hands moving towards heaven. The stained glass windows are navy blue, white, and brown, and at the entrance to the cathedral stand 4 bronze sculptures that represent the Evangelists.

The television tower is the tallest building in the city, and offers spectacular views of Brasilia, in particular of the Square of the Three Powers. The whole city was planned around this square, which is home to Brazil’s executive, judicial, and legislative powers. The Planalto Palace is the seat of Brazil’s government, and contains the president’s office. The parliament gives visitors guided tours, where they may bump into politicians in the building’s corridors, and there is an extensive collection of artwork and historical exhibits to admire as well.

Also worth a visit is Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is housed in Itamaraty Palace. It contains one of the largest collections of art in the country, by both Brazilian and foreign artists.

There are some ecological sites of interest in the city. City Park is the biggest urban park in the world, and Brasilia’s National Park has swimming pools of mineral water. On the outskirts of the city, well worth a visit are Salt Waterfall and Blue Well. A bit further afield, around 100 km north of Brasilia is the tourist resort Salto de Itiquira, which has a 168 metre high waterfall.


There are 3 large shopping centres in Brasilia that sell Brazilian and foreign branded goods; ParkShopping, Conjunto Nacional, and Patio Brasil

There is a weekly flea market at the television tower, and another market worth visiting is the imports market where there are lots of cheap electronics available.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Brazil’s national dish is Feijoada, a stew of beans and meat served with rice and vegetables, and one of the best restaurants in Brasilia for feijoada is Piantella. For a traditional Brazilian barbeque, known locally as churrasco, Porcao is well worth a visit. Aside from Brazilian cuisine, the city has a lot of international restaurants, in part due to the diplomatic presence, and some that come highly recommended include Kosui for Japanese food, Trattoria da Rosario for Italian dishes, and La Torreta for Spanish cuisine.

Caipirinha is Brazil’s best-known drink, and Brasilia has a few bars to try. Gate’s Pub is both a pub and a club, and offers a choice of live music throughout the week. Clube do Choro is a nightclub that has weekly performances by choro artists; choro is a traditional Brazilian music style using a flute, guitar, and cavaquinho, a small stringed instrument.

Tourist Information

Brasilia Convention and Visitors BureauBlock C, Edificio Brasilia Trade CentreBrasilia70711-902

Telephone: +55 61 3328 6878Website:


Brasilia International Airport is situated just over 10 km from the city centre, and is easily reached by bus or taxi. The airport is well served by a number of international carriers.

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