Violent clashes took place between protesters and the authorities, large fires were set, and barricades were erected in Toulouse, while in Bordeaux protestors threw Molotov cocktails at riot police.
U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to comment on the ongoing riots in Paris, placing the blame for the protests on the Paris Agreement from which the U.S. withdrew previous year.
Shouts of "Macron Resign!" were heard among crowds, along with cursing at police and the news media.
Dominic Blaise, a 57-year-old aeronautics engineer from the Paris suburbs, came the demonstration with his son.
It is feared that the viral videos could further inflame the "yellow vest" protests, which have led to the worst rioting Paris has seen in decades.
In a television address on Saturday evening, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the "casseurs" (troublemakers) were still at work.
A source close to the operation told AFP that at least 34 people were arrested for carrying masks, hammers, slingshots and rocks that could be used to attack police.
Much of Paris looked like a ghost town, with museums, department stores closed on what should have been a festive pre-Christmas shopping day.
Interior Minister Christopher Castaner said that he expects radical elements to be present in Paris and that "the past three weeks have given birth to a monster that has escaped its creators". The question now is what is next for this movement that has taken French politicians by surprise?
"We're asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger", Mr Cauchy said.
Nearly 1,000 people have been taken into custody nationwide.
The government this week scrapped planned fuel tax hikes planned for January - one of the protesters' main demands - and announced a string of other measures created to help low-income families.
Foreign governments are watching developments closely in one of the world's most visited cities.
Police spray protestors with pepper spray during a demonstration in Brussels Saturday Dec. 8 2018. Hundreds of police officers are being mobilized
But many "yellow vests" have urged fresh protests this weekend, claiming a series of of government concessions do not go far enough.
Some protesters have even called for Macron's resignation.
The hardline CGT union, hoping to capitalise on the movement, has called for rail and metro strikes next Friday to demand immediate wage and pension increases.
Prized Paris monuments and normally bustling shopping meccas were locked down at the height of the holiday shopping season as protesters condemned President Emmanuel Macron and France's high taxes.
However, he rules out re-imposing a "fortune tax" on high-earners.
High taxes in France have been the source of discontent and unrest among French residents.
Many members of the protest movement are calling for calm, and some struck a conciliatory tone after meeting the prime minister on Friday night in a last-minute bid to cool tempers, but that did not deter many people from trying to march on the presidential palace on Saturday.
Since the unrest began November 17 in response to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents.
Workers hammered plywood over the windows of shops and businesses, making the plush Champs-Elysees neighborhood appear to be bracing for a hurricane.
Many shops were boarded up to avoid looting and street furniture and construction site materials have been removed to prevent them from being used as projectiles.
"It's with an huge sadness that we'll see our city partially brought to a halt, but your safety is our priority", said Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
While scattered scuffles broke out Saturday around central Paris, the action seemed less violent overall at midday than at the same time a week ago.