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.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.Temperatures seldom hit extremes. 17C to 28C (63 to 82 F) are the average lows and highs, but it can get as low as 1C (34 F) in winter and get as hot as 34C (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 Tras 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 Belím. 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 Sao Paulo, 18 hours from Rio, 10 hours from Belo Horizonte and 3 hours from Goiania. 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.Template:MapframeRent 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 Diversaes etc.) to Esplanada dos Ministírios, 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 Metra 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

Airport: BSB Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport Cities in Brazil

Country: Brazil