Brasilia Suburb Profiles
A victim of its own success, Brasília itself was quickly too small for the thousands wanting to work here and several satellite cities have cropped up over the years. Ceilandia is one of the largest and closest to the city centre and boasts a range of housing options from apartments to villas as well as a vibrant central market.
Located on the southern shores of Lake Paranoá, Lago Sul is one of the most exclusive residential quarters of the city with spacious condos and houses. There are also several public and private schools which, combined with its proximity to the lake, make it ideal for families moving to Brasília.
Asa Sul is one of the most established residential areas in Brasília and the best example of the planners vision of ‘Superquadras’, large residential squares with compact commercial centres creating a warm, neighbourly feel. The area makes up the southern tip of the cities ‘aeroplane’ shape and is close to both the main business district and the City Park.
One of the more recent additions to the city, Setor Noroeste was built in the 80’s as part of Costa’s ‘Brasília Revisited’ project. It is close to the National Park and the northern tip of Lago Paranoá and is one of the fastest developing regions of the city.
Transport / Getting Around Brasília
As you would expect from such a thoroughly modern city, Brasília’s transport network is well planned and efficient. The city is designed around the car with a simple road system, few traffic jams and plentiful parking. Many moving to Brasília find that travelling on foot can be challenging, but there is a safe and reliable public transport network with the metro zipping commuters along the main axes of the city and bus routes stretching out into the satellite towns. Taxis are available across the city, but most cannot be flagged down and must be picked up from designated taxi ranks. Due to its remote location, most travel between Brasília and other major cities is by air. Brasília International Airport has regular flights to São Paulo, Rio and Salvador and further afield to Mexico, the US and Portugal.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Brasília
Brasília’s breath-taking architecture is well worth taking time to explore. The Esplanada dos Ministérios is a great place to start with the Congress building, Presidential Palace and Supreme Court to the East and the stunning Cathedral of Brasília to the West. The city’s blossoming cultural scene is one of the most vibrant and diverse in Brazil with new museums and galleries appearing each year, such as Honestino Guimarães National Museum which celebrates international contemporary art. For some less formal ‘culture’ head to one of the handful of venues hosting Saturday samba afternoons or go bar hopping around Asa Sul or the shores of Lago Paranoá. The City Park is always bustling with joggers, skaters, cyclists and picnickers while the beautiful lake is a great place to swim, sail, paddle board or just take in one of the city’s famous sunsets. Further afield, Brasília National Park boasts unique flora and fauna and natural swimming pools.
Fun facts about Brasília
- Due to its striking modern architecture and beautifully landscaped parks, the centre of Brasília is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The city’s unique layout is the vision of Lucio Costa and is designed to look like an aeroplane from the sky.
- Brasília was built entirely from scratch in the late 1950’s in just 41 months. An enormous feat of engineering and planning, the site was originally 360 miles from the nearest paved road.
- Brasília became Brazil’s capital city in 1960. The previous capital, Rio de Janeiro, had held the title for almost 200 years.