Brasilia is the capital of Brazil and the city is like a living museum, and it has earned its prestigious designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the only city built in the 20th-century to receive that honor, and it is easy to see why. You can spend days exploring the city’s impressive monuments and buildings, but no matter how long you stay, it will never feel like enough in this wondrous city. The city is divided by the Monumental Axis, a central avenue that is lined with many important monuments, government buildings and memorials.
Best Time to Visit
There is never a bad time to visit the city, but one of the best times to come to Brasilia is during the Cinema Festival in October and November. The world-renowned festival is a celebration of Brazilian cinema and shows early screenings of both mainstream and independent films. The city also puts on an enormous and lively music festival each summer, the Porão do Rock. Local and international bands play side by side on the many stages, and a rock ‘n’ roll vibe permeates the whole city.
Top Places to Visit in Brasilia
1. National Library and the National Museum
The Monumental Axis is also home to the Cultural Complex of the Republic, including the National Library and the National Museum. The library’s collection includes more than 300,000 items, and the National Museum spans a 17,000 square-yard exhibition space that displays temporary art exhibits.
2. Catedral Metropolitana
One of the most eye-catching sights on the axis is the Catedral Metropolitana. The dazzling design features waves of stained glass and 16 curved columns that represent hands reaching out toward heaven. The oval-shaped interior is graced by three suspended sculptures of angels, a blue, brown and white stained-glass nave and a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin.
3. Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial
The Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial sits at the western end of the Monumental Axis. The underground museum tells the story of Kubitschek, the optimistic president of Brazil who served from 1956 to 1961. Visitors can explore the leader’s personal objects, documents, photographs and pay their respects at his tomb.
4. Monetary Museum
Maintained by the country’s central bank. The vast collection includes rare coins, old machinery used to cut and print currency, gold bars, foreign currencies, medals and more.
5. Paranoá Lake
Paranoá Lake, in Brasília, was planned, and therefore is an artificial lake, constructed in 1959. The fauna in the Lake is very rich and there you can see capivaras, small crocodiles, turtles and several other animals. There are more than 30 recreation clubs, around the Lake, offering sporting activities, running and walking spaces, restaurants and coffee shops. It is possible to practice water sports, such as Stand Up Paddle (SUP), kite surfing, sailing and many others, or to take a ride on one of the boats that work on several points.