Niemeyer architecture, inventive cuisine
and bohemian bars
As the nation’s capital, Brasília conjures up images of government as well as the landmark UNESCO-listed buildings dreamed up by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. Strolling among these curving, concrete ministries and palaces, gleaming white against an intensely blue sky, is otherworldly, but venturing beyond the Eixo Monumental allows you to experience how Brazilians live, eat, drink and play.
Asa Sul is home to the city’s oldest and most harmonious blocks of Modernist buildings, anchored by the original Superquadra planned by Lucio Costa. Dotting the area’s lively commercial sectors are fine international restaurants, terraced cafés serving aromatic organic coffees from regional farms, and contemporary bistros with menus fuelled by local ingredients such as fragrant pequi fruit and crunchy baru nuts.
Drawing students, artists, LGBT and bohemians, Asa Norte’s alternative vibe nourishes the city’s dynamic nightlife. The happening area known as Baixo Asa Norte is a bar hopper’s dream. As you make the rounds, sample local craft ales and cocktails made with regional cachaças while staying tuned to a mix of home-grown rock, pagode and sets by up-and-coming DJs.
For a taste of the outdoors, join residents to walk, jog or picnic amid native Cerrado vegetation in Parque da Cidade and Parque Olhos d’Água, or windsurfers and stand-up paddlers on the sparkling waters of Paranoá Lake. Dine out in breezy waterfront Pontão do Lago Sul park, where eco-chic restaurants and bars offer sushi and Northeast Brazilian cuisine, as well as striking views of the city’s famous sunset.