Brasilia travel guide

Brasilia Tourism | Brasilia Guide

You're Going to Love Brasilia

Prosperous and artistic, Brasilia is today designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its modern architectural style and progressive urban planning. The city's futuristic vibe and perfect order appeals to travelers, as does the color and culture to be found in every part of town.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Brasilia

1. Amazing Architecture

Brasilia's display of modernist architecture means there are several must-see spots like the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and the Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida.

2. Lush Natural Parks

Brasilia abounds in natural wonders, as apparent in such sites as the Paranoá Lake and the Itiquira waterfall.

3. A Thriving Contemporary Arts Scene

Take in an evening of contemporary opera, a classical symphony, or a modern play at the Cláudio Santoro National Theater.

4. A Well-Connected City

The city has distinct zones for housing, shopping, and business, which means that its easy to take in all activities, without missing a beat.

5. A Center of Gastronomic Delights

The economic prosperity and preference for progressive design of the city has influenced the restaurant scene, with eateries serving up artistically presented Brazilian cuisine.

What to do in Brasilia

1. Square of the Three Powers: Exercise Your Civic Duty

The role of governments around the world has always been to evoke a sense of order, justice, and peace among their citizens. The three statues located in the Square of the Three Powers reflect this mission, and were erected as a symbolic partnership between the three branches of Brazilian government. The area has since become a bit of a tourist attraction due to its close proximity to other downtown Brasilia landmarks. Here locals and visitors can gather together at sunset for music performances, cultural celebrations, and other political events.

2. Cathedral of Brasília: Experience the Divine

Brazil's deep ties to the Roman Catholic church can be felt in the myriad of cathedrals scattered throughout the country. The Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia is one of the finest in all of Brazil and acts as the official jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. The cathedral was completed in 1970 based on designs by Oscar Niemeyer, who is credited for modernizing much of Brazil's public architecture. The most unique feature of the cathedral's design however is the choice to install a glass roof, thereby blurring the lines between heaven and earth in this spiritual gathering place.

3. Planalto Palace: Visit the Seat of Government

The Planalto Palace is the official residence of the Brazilian President and acts on behalf of the executive branch of government. The palace was renovated in 2011 with a modern stark-white facade and expansively calm pool giving the building a commanding aesthetic of authority. The Palace is perfectly situated between the National Congress, Supreme Federal Court, and the iconic Three Powers Plaza as the centralized governing area in Brazil. Take note that since the Palace is first and foremost a government building, visitors are limited to guided tours only on Sunday afternoons.

4. Museum of the Indigenous People: Explore the History

Come and learn about the cultural traditions and history of the ancient people of Brazil in the center of bustling Brasilia. The museum was originally intended to be a modern art gallery, but through the hard work and perseverance of the local population the building was instead converted into a kind of ethnography museum. Here you can find pottery, handmade baskets, and tools used by the Native people of Brazil. You can even enjoy hearing stories straight from the source itself with a locally guided tour through the Museum of Indigenous People's many exhibits.

5. Santuário Dom Bosco: A Take on Modern Religious Architecture

Feel like you've stepped off the high dive and plunged deep into ocean-blue waters at the Santuario Dom Bosco. The iconic cathedral is famous for its blue floor-to-ceiling windows which cast an eerie, other-worldly feel on the pews and altar adjacent. The Roman Catholic church conducts regular religious services for visitors who come to meditate, seek guidance, and find peace within its blue walls. The centerpiece of this eclectic room is the breathtaking Murano chandelier which is handmade in Venice, Italy.

1. Square of the Three Powers: Exercise Your Civic Duty

The role of governments around the world has always been to evoke a sense of order, justice, and peace among their citizens. The three statues located in the Square of the Three Powers reflect this mission, and were erected as a symbolic partnership between the three branches of Brazilian government. The area has since become a bit of a tourist attraction due to its close proximity to other downtown Brasilia landmarks. Here locals and visitors can gather together at sunset for music performances, cultural celebrations, and other political events.

2. Cathedral of Brasília: Experience the Divine

Brazil's deep ties to the Roman Catholic church can be felt in the myriad of cathedrals scattered throughout the country. The Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia is one of the finest in all of Brazil and acts as the official jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. The cathedral was completed in 1970 based on designs by Oscar Niemeyer, who is credited for modernizing much of Brazil's public architecture. The most unique feature of the cathedral's design however is the choice to install a glass roof, thereby blurring the lines between heaven and earth in this spiritual gathering place.

3. Planalto Palace: Visit the Seat of Government

The Planalto Palace is the official residence of the Brazilian President and acts on behalf of the executive branch of government. The palace was renovated in 2011 with a modern stark-white facade and expansively calm pool giving the building a commanding aesthetic of authority. The Palace is perfectly situated between the National Congress, Supreme Federal Court, and the iconic Three Powers Plaza as the centralized governing area in Brazil. Take note that since the Palace is first and foremost a government building, visitors are limited to guided tours only on Sunday afternoons.

4. Museum of the Indigenous People: Explore the History

Come and learn about the cultural traditions and history of the ancient people of Brazil in the center of bustling Brasilia. The museum was originally intended to be a modern art gallery, but through the hard work and perseverance of the local population the building was instead converted into a kind of ethnography museum. Here you can find pottery, handmade baskets, and tools used by the Native people of Brazil. You can even enjoy hearing stories straight from the source itself with a locally guided tour through the Museum of Indigenous People's many exhibits.

5. Santuário Dom Bosco: A Take on Modern Religious Architecture

Feel like you've stepped off the high dive and plunged deep into ocean-blue waters at the Santuario Dom Bosco. The iconic cathedral is famous for its blue floor-to-ceiling windows which cast an eerie, other-worldly feel on the pews and altar adjacent. The Roman Catholic church conducts regular religious services for visitors who come to meditate, seek guidance, and find peace within its blue walls. The centerpiece of this eclectic room is the breathtaking Murano chandelier which is handmade in Venice, Italy.

Where to Eat in Brasilia

You can find stellar Peruvian cuisine at Taypá Sabores Del Perú, where two can eat for R$84. Or, check out Carpe Diem, a hot spot where two can dine for R$64.

When to visit Brasilia

Brasilia in August
Estimated hotel price
C$ 58
1 night at 3-star hotel
Brasilia in August
Estimated hotel price
C$ 58
1 night at 3-star hotel

Unlike the rest of the country, temperatures are moderate and extremely pleasant in Brasilia, though May and June are the best. It gets as warm as 82 degrees in the summer months and as cold as 33 degrees in the winter.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Brasilia

Plane

The Brasilía International Airport (BSB) is just 7 miles from the city center and is a major international hub. Catch an Executive Bus from the airport to downtown for just R$10 or get a taxi for R$30-40.

Car

If you're coming in from the south or any of the central-western states, take the Saída Sul entrance. If you're driving in from any of the other states, take the Saída Norte.

Bus

Brasilia's main bus station is Rodoviária, which connects to other major cities such as Rio De Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and São Paulo.

Airports near Brasilia

Airlines serving Brasilia

Lufthansa
Good (2,395 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,527 reviews)
KLM
Good (362 reviews)
Air France
Good (439 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,608 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,410 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,179 reviews)
SWISS
Good (494 reviews)
Iberia
Good (972 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,327 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,700 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,104 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (606 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (158 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (165 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (839 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (770 reviews)
Avianca
Good (847 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (533 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (537 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Brasilia

Paranoá - this neighborhood is famous for Paranoá Lake, a beautiful man-made lake with plenty of water activities such as swimming, paddle-boarding, and boating.

Popular Neighborhoods in Brasilia

Lago Sul - because of its great restaurants and gorgeous views of Brasilia, the Lago Sul neighborhood gets very crowded during the weekends. Walk along the lakeshore and take the kids biking!

Brazlândia - this area is home to all Brasilia's natural wonders. There are three waterfalls - Cachoeira Poço Azul, Cachoeira Rainha, and Chapada Imperial - as well as camping activities.

Where to stay in popular areas of Brasilia

Most booked hotels in Brasilia

Royal Tulip Brasilia Alvorada
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 128+
Cullinan Hplus Premium
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 87+
Manhattan Plaza
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 67+
St Paul Plaza Hotel
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 61+
S4 Hotel
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 64+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Brasilia

Public Transportation

Rodovária, Brasilia's main bus station, links the central areas of the city to areas like the Setor Comercial, Esplanada dos Ministérios, and the airport. To get on, flag the bus down. A single adult fare is R$3.

Taxi

Taxis are relatively expensive in Brasilia and usually cannot be hailed on the streets. Fares start at a flat rate of R$5, with R$4.6 per mile after that.

Car

Cars are the best way to get around Brasilia. The city was planned not with public transport but with driving in mind. Vehicles from National Car Rental start at R$66.24 a day.

The Cost of Living in Brasilia

Shopping Streets

Setor de Diversões, close to Rodovária bus station, is a popular shopping area. Check out the Sunday flea market at the base of the TV Tower, famous for its local crafts and souvenirs.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk will run you R$3.41 while a dozen eggs will cost you R$9.

Cheap meal
C$ 8.48
A pair of jeans
C$ 82.05
Single public transport ticket
C$ 1.61
Cappuccino
C$ 2.50