The airport Brasilia International Airport was opened in 1957, three years before the inauguration of the city. Apparently, then President Juscelino Kubitschek, was in such a hurry to complete the city that he insisted that material should be flown to Brasília, in cargo flights, instead of going by roads.
The airport was refurbished in 2003, and has one of the longest runways in Brazil (3,200 m). There are shops and services at all three floors of the airport, totaling around 136 establishments. On the third floor, there is a restaurants plaza, with a terrace with panoramic views and. Most notably, there is a movie complex at the top floor that screens movies daily, good for those who are on long transits here.
How to get around
To the city
The airport is located around 11km from the city centre. The best way to get to the city would be through the bus lines that connect the airport to the city centre as well as to the main train stations and metro stations in the city. If you’re travelling in a group and want to take a taxi, there are many waiting outside the arrival terminal and they are an economical option for groups. For those of you who want to drive yourselves, there are a variety of car rental companies available at the airport itself.
Within the city
Due the fact that Brasília was built in era of the automobiles’ boom, the founders assumed that every inhabitant would own a car. It is not surprising then that the city is not very favorable towards tourists who want to visit it on foot.
The best choice to get around is by bus. The system provides very good access to the city center and all the surrounding neighborhoods. Unless the bus is flagged, it will only stop when a passenger requests to hop off, so make sure to keep a lookout for your stop! Most buses always start from or go through the central station – Rodoviária – located at the center of Brasília. Nice choices are the red-and-white minibuses called Zebrinha or Transporte de Vizinhança. They are very useful for moving around the city, as they link the central area of Brasília (Setor Comercial, Setor de Diversões etc.) to Esplanada dos Ministérios, the airport and some of the main avenues.
There is a metro system, but it generally does not pass through many tourist spots so a bus is still your best bet. Taxis are quite expensive in Brasília and
to get one you need to get to the nearest stand or ask your hotel to order a cab for you, as they won’t stop if you just try to flag one off the street.
What to see and do
The city of Brasília, which succeeded Rio de Janeiro as capital of the Federal Republic of Brazil in April 1960, was built in less than three years, and soon developed into a key factor in the opening up of Brazil's middle west. The city lies directly on the watershed between the Amazon and the Rio Paraná and boasts many architectural masterpieces created by the famous Oscar Niemeyer.
One must see is the Catedral Metropolitana, a highly modern cathedral featuring stunning interior and exterior glasswork. Other beautiful cathedrals and temples include the Santuraio dom Bosco, one of the first temples in Brasilia, and the Legiao da Boa Vontade temple, a good place for meditation and rejuvenation.
There are also lovely parks worth exploring such as the Parque Ecologico Capela Dom Bosco and the Parque da Cidade (Sarah Kubitschek), a park built in tribute to the wife of the city’s founder. Both parks have unique architecture and artwork and are definitely worth a visit.
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