Travel by numbers: Moscow

As the Russian capital prepares to welcomes Eurovision's, er, finest voices, Ben Ross fills out the city's scorecard

54

The number of times the Eurovision Song Contest has been held since it began in 1956. This year Moscow is the lucky host city, following Russia's victory in 2008 with Dima Bilan's "Believe". The event will be staged at Moscow's Olympic Indoor Arena and broadcast on BBC1 from 8pm tonight. eurovision.tv

9

The number of chapels within St Basil's Cathedral, known more properly as the Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat. The onion domes arguably make it Moscow's most recognisable building, but it was almost demolished during Stalin's reign, when it was seen as hindering plans for parades in Red Square. Open daily except Tues, from 11am-5pm; admission 100 roubles (£2). moscow.info

50

The price, in pounds, of a tourist visa for UK citizens visiting Russia. (This rises to £100 for the next-day service.) You also have to add at least £25.30 in service fees, and £7.40 to have your passport returned by post. Visitors must provide visa support documents, usually from the hotel in which you will be staying. ru.vfsglobal.co.uk

12

Number of lines on the Moscow Metro, the world's second most-used underground system (after Tokyo; London's Tube system comes a distant ninth). Among the most beautiful stations on Moscow's underground is Mayakovskaya on the Zamoskvoretskaya line, built in 1938 and decorated in the art-deco style. A ticket on the metro costs only 22 roubles (45p). engl.mosmetro.ru

1924

The year Lenin died, aged 53. His embalmed body lies in state at the foot of the Kremlin wall and is still one of Moscow's most popular – if ghoulish – sights. Open 10am-1pm, Tues-Thurs and Sat; admission free. lenin.ru/index_e.htm

1

Moscow's position in the hotels.com Hotel Price Index, which makes it the most expensive city in the world to find a bed; the average price per room is £207. At the top end of this top-end market is the Ritz-Carlton, where doubles start at £505. However, there is value to be had: the Comrade Hostel near Red Square has dormitory beds from €23. ritzcarlton.com; comradehostel.com

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