Xishiku Cathedral, Beijing
Xishiku Church, also known as St. Xaviour and Beitang (North Church) was originally built in 1703 by Jesuit missionaries near present day Zhongnanhai. It was moved to its current location and rebuilt when Emperor Guangxu wanted the original land so he could build a park for the royal family.
I only had time to visit one church and I chose this one because it seemed easy to get to via Metro. I'm glad I did as it's very ornate and beautiful and in a lovely setting. I loved the juxtaposition of Western and Eastern elements.
There were quite a few people at mass, some of whom were from the tour bus parked out on the street.
And if you go early in the morning, you can see the streets come alive, people going to work or taking their children to school, food stalls cooking up tantalizing eats and kids watching Tom & Jerry on a laptop!
Metro Line 4, Xisi Station (A), is closest to the Church. Exit the station and proceed south on Xisi South St.
(西四南大街). When you get to Xi'anmen Dajie (西安门大街), turn left and proceed east。You will cross one large street , W. Huangchenggen St.. Then at the first small street, turn left and keep going down the street. You'll see the entrance to the Church (B) as the street dead ends and turns right.
Address: 33 Xishiku St. （西什库 路 33号）
For hours, check the church website: www.thecatholicdirectory.com
They may only list weekend mass, but I believe they have weekday mass from 6-7am as well, as I was there on a Friday. Of course, that only matters if you want to see the inside of the church.
Final tip for photographers: The church front facade faces south!