#WorldCup 2014 Cheat Sheet: Brasilia City Guide

(With contributions by Yahoo Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes)

Keep coming back every day for Yahoo Travel’s series on the #WorldCup, with guides to the host cities, advice on safety, and great tips and insider information you won’t find anywhere else. You can also check out all our World Cup coverage here.




Brasilia (Photo: Thinkstock)


Estadio Nacional de Brasilia (Photo: Saulo Prado/Flickr)

Stadium: Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, 68,009 capacity, the second-largest stadium in Brazil.

Games: June 15 (Switzerland vs. Ecuador), June 19 (Colombia vs. Ivory Coast), June 23 (Cameroon vs. Brazil), June 26 (Portugal vs. Ghana), June 30 (final 16), July 5 (quarterfinals), July 12 (third-place final)


Paranoa Lake (Photo: jmarconi/Flickr)


Oscar Niemeyer Cathedral (Photo: Christoph Diewald/Flickr)

Known for: Paranoa Lake, uber-modern Oscar Niemeyer-designed Metropolitan Cathedral, the only World UNESCO Heritage city built in the 20th century.

Lowdown: Founded as the federal capital in 1960, Brazil’s fourth-most populous city has a population of about 2.5 million. Superblocks and asphalt dominate the landscape, although a lovely city park offers green relief. This is the metropolis former president Juscelino Kubitschek built, but Rio de Janeiro-born architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died in 2012 just short of his 105th birthday, was the vision behind much of its aesthetic.


Ermida Dom Bosco (Photo: Cecilia Heinen/Flickr)

View: For sunsets, go to the Niemeyer-designed chapel Ermida Dom Bosco on North Lake. For a planned community perspective, get the 47-foot high perspective from the TV Tower within Eixo Monumental.

Sleep: Royal Tulip Brasilia Alvorada may be by Paranoá Lake, but its dominant architectural feature is the swimming pool. (SHTN, Trecho 1, Conj. 1B, Bloco C)  A fire left the original Brasilia Palace hotel, designed by Niemeyer, neglected for 28 years before reopening in 2008. (Setor De Hoteis E Turismo Norte Trecho 01 Conjunto 01) Budget’s hard to come by in Brasilia but not impossible, so no surprise that the favored Hostel 7 prices higher than those of its ilk. (SCLRN 708, Bloco I, Loja 20)


Maracuja Dish (Photo: Marisa Serafini/ Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/acquariana/)

Eats: The cosmopolitan city offers up the familiar with a regional overlay, from local cheese infusing pastas to bright yellow maracuja (passionfruit) sauce in a chicken dish. How you eat will be the question: Kilo-style is an all-you-can eat buffet which charges by weight.

What to buy: Shoppers have recourse to at least seven malls plus some outdoor markets. For local handicrafts, check the Fundação Nacional do Índio (Federal Office of Indian Affairs). Not only is there a craft store inside where revenues go back to the tribes, but indigenous Indians often set up trade on the sidewalks. (SBS Quadra 02 Lote 14 Ed. Cleto Meireles 70070-120)

Best pickup line: “Could you take me to see the best of Niemeyer?”

How to avoid a fight: (Talking to a civil servant) “You must work nonstop, being in the federal capital of Brazil.” (Talking to anyone who’s not a civil servant) “It must tough to get anything done without tripping over a civil servant.


Natural pool in Bonita (Photo: Anderson Freire/Flickr)

When the football gets to be too much: Do you want Bonito (Pretty) or Formosa (Beautiful)? Bonito boasts a waterfall that drops 550 feet and natural pools, while Formosa has waterfalls and a hole 344 deep and nearly 1,000 feet wide.