On the northern side of the Praça, the Palácio do Planalto (tel. 61/3411-2042, www.presidencia.gov.br , 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sun.) is where the president works, which is why you can only visit the interior (including his office) on Sundays, during 30-minute free guided tours.
The majestic exterior is notable for its mingling of straight and curving lines and for the ramp leading up the entrance, by which newly inaugurated presidents literally ascend to power (on a day-to-day basis they enter through a back door). During the week, you can observe the changing of the guard at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Right across from the palácio, Bruno Giorgi’s famous bronze sculpture, Os Candangos, has become a symbol of the city. Candango was an expression that referred to the thousands of poor workers, mostly from the Northeast, who were hired to build Brasília  and who subsequently settled in the favela -like suburbs that surround the city.
Originally, it was a derogatory term that African slaves applied to the Portuguese during colonial times. However, over the years, the pejorative connotation has evaporated and today all native residents of Brasília are called Candangos.
To see where the president lives, visit the Palácio da Alvorada (SHTN, tel. 61/3411-2317, www.presidencia.gov.br , 3–5 p.m. Wed.), a quick 15-minute cab ride north (you can also take the 104 bus from the rodoviária) from the Praça dos Três Poderes . It sits along the northern shore of Lago Paranoá. The name (alvorada means dawn) was supplied by Kubitschek himself, who often referred to Brasília  as a “new dawn in Brazil’s history.”
The first of Niemeyer’s Brasília buildings to be completed (in 1958), the president’s official residence is also one of the most beautiful: the harmonious fusion of glass, white marble, and mirror-like pools is offset by expansive green gardens and an immaculate soccer field (added at the request of President Lula).
Tours (around the outside verandas) are only available on Wednesdays. Otherwise, you’ll have to be content to gaze at the ensemble from behind the guarded gates.