get a taxi
Maybe the best transport in Brasilia.The streets and avenues of this city are not made for pedestrians.
So to go to somewhere there better count with someone who knows the place well, and dont get lost.Taxi car are not so expensive. maybe us $ 3,00 -4,00 per kilometer.
Brasilia's public transportation system is not very well developed and I'm afraid this won't be fixed soon (due to politics...quite a drama!). People who depend on it are often quite unsatifsfied by the lack of quality of public transportation.
The bus fare goes from R$2,00 to R$ 3,00 (about US$ 0.80 ~ US$ 1.30 in Oct.'06). You can get almost everywhere with the buses, but do ask for some help. The Central Bus Terminal has buses that go to everywhere in the city, while boarding, ask the driver or the other passangers if the bus goes to where you intend to go. Brasilia people are very kind to tourists.
DO AVOID taking the vans (the alternative to buses)! The drivers are the worst ones (over speeding, driving dangerously and boarding more people than what it is supposed.
Although it's not perfect, the buses are still the best way to move around in Brasilia if you don't have a car.
Getting around in Brasília is a problem, specially for budget travellers and backpackers like me.
For the ones who can afford, renting a car is a good idea, but skip the car rentals at the airport, thy can charge double.
But this tip aims at the taxi sevice. It is expensive, at least for Brazilian standards, but you can hire the 30% discount service. The meter is already regulated for the discount, so you needn't ask for it. One of the best companies (and the one I use when I need) is Alvorada, phone # 3321.3030. But you have to speak portuguese or ask someone to call the service. It is better calling them - the taxis come quickly. Hailing may get you in a very expensive radio taxi...
If you speak some portuguese, try talking to the driver. They will usually have a nice story abou how they came to Brasília and how it was a number of years ago. Som of them even helped buiding the city!
How to get there
I was told that there is no railway to Brasilia. At the first moment I thought the person I was talking to was teasing me but funny enough, after looking uo in the Intenet I could not find any info for train transportation to Brasilia. It is still hard for me to face the idea that the capital of such a big country is not accecibal by railroad too.
I got there by plane and I should say that the airport is looking rather nice. It is located 12 km away from the downtown area.
I had found some info about the main roads on the net, so here it is:
From Rio de Janeiro: BR-040
From Sao Paulo: BR-050/SP-300
From Belo Horizonte: BR-040
From Belen: BR-153/BR-226/BR-010
NEVER TAKE A TAXI!!!
Well, how are you comming to Brasília? I really don´t know. But, a time here, I´ll help you, ok? You have to follow just three steps:
First - get an accomodation in the center (Asa Sul or Asa Norte);
Second - NEVER get a taxi. It´s soooo expensive and not that helpfull;
Third - take a bus. In the center, is so easy and fast. You can use the telephonic list to find the schedules and lines. It has the subway, but it´s more complicated.
Well, anyway, you can call me ever!!! I´ll be glad to help and show you my city. And this service is FREE! ;)
Brasilia has an international...
Brasilia has an international airport, but it is seldom used by foreign air companies: there's not any economic interest in that area, all flights land at Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, tourist flights may prefer Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador, but the interest of Brasilia remains a domestic ones. Even the deputates and Senators make a point of fleeing immediately after the last session of the Parliament, Friday afternoon car rush to the airoport may well be described as an emergency evacuation operation, while the political meeting are suspended until Tuesday or Wednesday in oder to leave the politicians some time for real politics.
I experienced the bus travel to Brasilia: 20 hours from Sao Paulo, if I remember well. Personally, I hate bus travels, but - in Latin America - I learned to appreciate them, so I cannot say the road trip to Brasilia was horrible, just a bit boring.