Brasilia is a planned city in the sense that it was created as a capital city and was only inaugurated in 1960, so it has all the facilities and services you would expect within a city. It is less than 50 years old however so ancient architecture and buildings are nowhere to be found in this modern city. Despite its size it only took four years to build and is considered to be a masterpiece of urban planning. The fact that it is planned' makes it sound a little dull, but this is far from the reality. The truth is that Brasilia is a city which was created out of almost nothing in only four years. A real testament to just what Brazilians can do when they decide to take action. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1987, in recognition of just how special this city is.
Although originally designed to accommodate 500,000 people, it now has some 2 million people living there. One of the drawbacks to this huge increase in people is that despite the planning, the public transport system struggles with the numbers of people and the subway has still not been completed. However, some parts have, so there is a limited service, but it is not city wide. Yet this is an exotic city. The climate is extremely temperate, with a very warm temperature for most of the year and no real cold in winter and no stifling heat in the summer. There are also some wonderful gardens and green spaces which make the city seem very open and spacious. There are also plenty of sights to see and things to do. The Cathedral is simply stunning in terms of its architecture, built in 1970 it is a classic piece of architecture which is considered modern and yet is almost 40 years old. The Dom Bosco Sanctuary and the Military Cathedral are also places of interest. You should also spend time visiting the Brasilia National Park, the Botanical Garden and the zoo. The zoo in particular is quite an amazing place with some very weird but always wonderful animals. Although the official language in Brasilia is Portuguese you will find that most people can speak some English. If you can speak Spanish then this will help, since most people can understand this, but overall, communication will not really be a problem if you only speak English. Brasilia is quite a safe city and crime is not a problem, although you should obviously be careful about where you walk at night, particularly if you are wearing expensive clothes and jewellery. During the daytime, you will find that it is quite safe. Restaurants, cafes and hotels all abound, with some excellent opportunities to experience some great food. The nightlife may not be as buzzing and thriving as some other South American cities, but it is still pretty good in Brasilia, so make sure that you check it out. This really is a different city and a very different capital city. For this reason alone you should include Brasilia on any trip to South America, or even just find an excuse to go there, since it is so charming and almost unique.
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