Brasilia is often overlooked as an option while planning your travels through Brazil. Let me explain you why I think you should go to the capital of Brazil.
Still very early in the morning I arrive at Brasília after yet another bus ride. My friend Cleane, who I haven’t seen for 13 years, picks me up. She’s still in her army outfit, because that’s where she works and she didn’t finish her shift yet when I arrive. We have to go to the army base first so that she can finish her army business and then we’ll head for lunch in Brasilia.
1. Food and drinks
Brasilia has many restaurants and bars. Right across my friend’s apartment there is a barbecue buffet (you’ll find plently of these places) where you can ‘design’ your own plate and afterwords pay per kilogram. A salad, some fruits, rice, beans and lots of meat are there to choose from.
In the evening there’s normally not that much of activity on the streets of Brasília, but if you bring the right company you can have a great night out in this city.
2. Three powers square
A nice visit for anyone who visits the capital of Brazil is the heart of the “pilot-plan,” also known as the political center. The Presidential Palace, the Congress and the STF were built in front of each other, in the Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square). Many institutions are open for the public. If you would like to see where the presidents meet each other and where some tough decisions are being made you might want to enter the Supremo Tribunal Federal. There guided tours (in Portuguese) are available between 10am and 4pm. I would recommend you to go for the free tour which takes about 30 minutes, because when I walked into the building, just to have a look, I stumbled upon one of these guided tours and it was quite interesting. They let you have a look at all of the important rooms and the guide explains exactly who and what goes on where.
3. modernist Religious center
Then there is the famous cathedral of Brasília, also known as one of the master pieces of architect Oscar Niemeyer. When we drive towards it I recognize the shape of the building from all the pictures of Brasília I’d seen earlier. Google the word Brasília and you’ll see that the cathedral will be the first thing showing up on your screen.
You can walk around this impressive building or go inside, but to enter you need to walk through a tunnel. It’s a somewhat ‘subway’ feeling to enter a cathedral like this, but it gives a pretty nice view.
A somewhat funny thing is that before you enter you’ll notice a sign saying “silence please”, while the beggars sitting at the entrance are shouting pretty loudly in Portuguese for what I understood is money. Once you enter the cathedral you’ll see it also echoes quite a bit. My friend told me to wait at one side of the building with my ear against the wall, while he walked to the other side and started communicating with me through the wall. Hollow walls.
4. Art in town
Walk a few hundred meters after your visit to the cathedral to find the national museum which is also designed by Oscar Niemeyer. As I experience getting bored quite quickly at temporary expositions I didn’t expect to much of the current one: À Sua Saúde. I have to say it became a way more longer visit than planned because it was a very very nice exposition. If they are all like that then I truly have to say “thumbs up” to the people who select the expositions in Brasília. I must have walked around for over two hours at the museum.
5. Strolling at Pontão
Only few people now this hidden gem in Brasília. Go see the Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek and in a distance you’ll discover some sort of park. This park you are seeing is named Pontão and has plenty of restaurants, bars and even boat trips. Stroll around at the walking paths and enjoy a romantic sunset.
Cleane and Rodrigo,
Thank you for showing me how nice Brasília can truly be.
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