With many clad in black and wearing masks to hide their faces, rioters in parts of the city burned barricades, vandalised banks, set rubbish bins on fire and hurled cobblestones at police.
By Saturday evening, Paris police said 147 people had been arrested across the capital.
The nationwide protests were intended to send a message to French President Emmanuel Macron, whose government has been accused of ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens.
Police donned riot gear and attempted to disperse the crowds with tear gas in several areas, including the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue, which have banned protests this weekend, the AP reports.
More than 7,000 police officers have been deployed to thwart the demonstrations, which have been banned in other places such as the presidential palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral.At least 39 people have been arrested so far, according to the AP.
The Associated Press reported that about 400 anti-capitalist protestors gathered to block roads in the town in southwest France. The crowd was largely peaceful, though some demonstrators threw rocks at police.
Police responded with warning shots and then used the water cannon and tear gas, according to the AP.
Thousands of protestors marched peacefully from the same area to the Spanish border earlier Saturday to demand further action against climate change and economic inequality.
President Trump is in Biarritz, France, for the annual meeting with the six other world leaders of the G-7. The event often attracts protesters who come to demonstrate on an array of topics.
May Day protests in Paris have erupted into violence as police met demonstrators with tear gas in the city’s Vavin neighbourhood.
French police said it had made 165 arrests by early afternoon and had conducted more than 9,000 searches.
Heightened security has been put in place across Paris for this year’s demonstrations amid ongoing tension with the gilets jaunes movement, and climate protesting.
It’s feared that hooligans bent on violence in the French capital will join the “gilets jaunes”, as trade unionists, students and others turn out to mark International Workers’ Day.
President Emmanuel Macron’s recent promise of tax cuts and other reforms have been rejected in some quarters.
Officials began inspecting the damage of Notre Dame Tuesday. They declared the cathedral structurally sound while identifying “some vulnerabilities,” according to French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez. Specifically, the vault and gable of the north transept were of concern. Inspectors are also worried about structural damage that may be hidden.
Kirk Martini, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Architecture with a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in structural engineering, said the transept is probably the greatest vulnerability. To ensure the structure is stable, additional shoring may be necessary after the full extent of the damage is assessed.