Brasília, conceived as a workable, utopic answer to urban chaos, replaced Rio as capital in 1960 and remains an impressive monument to national initiative. The purpose-built city is lauded by many for its futuristic architecture and avant-garde design, but also criticized for the impracticality of the uberorganized, themed city blocks.

The original design (plano piloto) was inspired by the crucifix but is often referred to as an airplane, with each of its architectural marvels strategically laid out along the Eixo Monumental (which forms the fuselage), and its residential and commercial blocks along its two outspread wings (asas).

With long distances and harrowing six-lane highways connected by spaghetti junctions, Brasília presents challenges for walkers; consider renting a car or ride shares.

You'll find a lively city hidden behind the futuristic facade. It's not only a pilgrimage for architecture buffs but also foodies, night owls and those seeking a unique travel experience.

Explore Brasília

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Brasília.


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