Live and eat like a local, and get off the tourist track with our Brasília hit list from the host and producer of SBS travel show, This is Brazil!.
Fernanda de Paula, Shelley Hepworth

12 May 2014 - 3:33 PM  UPDATED 25 Jun 2015 - 1:43 PM

1. Explore the sci-fi city

Celebrated Architect Oscar Niemeyer and urbanist Lúcio Costa were commissioned to design this utopian city and their vision was made reality in 1960 after five years of construction. Niemeyer’s seamless curves give this city a surreal feel and it’s worth taking a drive along ‘Monumental Axis’ to take it all in. As the architect said: "You may like my buildings or you may not, but you'll never be able to say you've seen anything similar before.”


2. Cheer on choro

‘Choro’ is a popular Brazilian style of music that originated in Rio during the 19th Century and means “little cry”. The Clube de Choro was built in Brasilia by a group of choro-lovers who moved to the city when the capital was transferred here in 1960. The Club is both a school and live performance space and features a calendar of illustrious musicians.


3. Silence your inner skeptic

Brasília might resemble a sci-fi movie set, but there is more magic beneath the concrete: it’s believed that a massive crystal rock formation lies underground nearby creating a special energy that attracts cults and spiritual seekers from all over the world. Pay a visit to the Legião da Boa Vontade temple to get a taste of this mystical side of the capital.


4. Marvel at Brazilian beauties

Set in the middle of Brazil’s large central plateau, Brasília is surrounded by Cerrado, a Brazilian ecosystem similar to the savannahs. A trip to this city demands exploration beyond the urban sphere and while in the Federal District 40% of the area is nature reserve, if you venture further away to the Chapada dos Veadeiros you will find one of the most beautiful national parks in the country. It’s a dramatic landscape peppered with waterfalls and caves and well worth a day trip.


5. Embrace the beachy vibe

On Sunday and Public holidays the Monumental Axis is closed to cars and welcomes a large number of locals who take to the streets with their bikes, rollerblades, skates or just for a walk. Brasília is usually meltingly hot and it’s not unusual to see shirtless men and women dressed in shorts and bikini tops, giving this city an unusually beachy vibe considering its distance from the ocean.


6. Where to eat

Sorbê - Enjoy ice-cream made from Cerrado fruits (405 Norte, bloco C - loja 41).


This is Brazil! airs Fridays at 7.30pm on SBS ONE.