Addresses for the Logical Mind

Believe it or not, Brasília’s addresses – a series of numbers and letters that pinpoint an exact location – are designed to make your life easier (once you know what all the acronyms mean!).

For example, take the address SQS 704, Bloco Q, Casa 29. That means it’s in Super Quadra Sul (South) 704, bloco (building) Q, casa (house) 29. The first digit in the address (7) shows the position east or west of the Eixo Rodoviário (the main north–south arterial road) – odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7) are to the west and even are to the east, increasing as they move away from the center. The last two digits (04) show the distance north or south of the Eixo Monumental. So the place you are looking for is four blocks to the south of the Eixo Monumental and four blocks east of the Eixo Rodoviário. The higher the number of the superquadra, the further it is from the center.

Get to know these acronyms:

Asa Norte/Asa Sul The two ‘wings’ of the city, connected by main roads. The N (Norte) or S (Sul) after an acronym indicates on which side of the Eixo Monumental it’s located.

SBN/SBS (Setor Bancário Norte/Sul) The banking areas either side of the Eixo Monumental.

SCEN/SCES (Setor de Clubes Esportivos Norte/Sul) The main recreational zone on the shores of Lago do Paranoá.

SCLN/SCLS (Setor Comércio Local Norte/Sul) The main shopping blocks between the superquadras.

SCN/SCS (Setor Comercial Norte/Sul) The commercial office block areas next to the main shopping centers.

SDN/SDS (Setor de Diversões Norte/Sul) The main conjuntos (shopping centers) either side of the Eixo Monumental.

SEN/SES (Setor de Embaixadas Norte/Sul) The embassy sectors.

SHIN/SHIS (Setor de Habitações Individuaís Norte/Sul) The residential areas around the lake. SHIN is reached on the Eixo Norte. SHIS is accessed via the bridges off Av das Nações.

SHN/SHS (Setor Hoteleiro Norte/Sul) The hotel sectors each side of the Eixo Monumental.

SMHN/SMHS (Setor Médico Hospitalar Norte/Sul) The hospital sectors each side of the Eixo Monumental, next to the SCN and SCS, respectively.

SQN/SQS (Super Quadras Norte/Sul) The individual superquadras in the main residential wings of the plano piloto.

Got it?