A ring of steel surrounded the Elysee Palace itself, as police stationed trucks and reinforced steel barriers in streets throughout the entire neighbourhood. Paris police said 30 people were injured, including three police officers.
Demonstrators waving French flags and wearing the movement's signature high-visibility vests gathered before dawn on Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe, which was damaged in last week's rioting.
Shops, museums, the Eiffel Tower and many metro stations were closed, while top-flight football matches and concerts have been cancelled.
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.
The "yellow vest" movement was named after the safety jackets French motorists are required to keep in their vehicles, which the protesters wear at demonstrations.
The climbdown over the fuel tax - meant to help France transition to a greener economy - marks a major departure for Macron, who has previously vowed not to be swayed, like previous presidents, by large street protests.
After two weekends of violence in Paris that made the authorities look powerless, police went into overdrive Saturday to keep a lid on unrest.
Police frisked people or searched bags every hundred meters or so throughout central Paris, and confiscated gas masks and protective goggles from Associated Press journalists.
Some protesters Saturday attempted to block the Porte Maillot dual carriageway, which is a toll-free route into Paris.
Some remain focused on lowering fuel taxes and other financial burdens, saying low-income families in particular are paying the price for Macron's push to reform and revive the French economy.
But the "yellow vests" have added new demands and are now protesting high taxes and the high cost of living.
A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees boulevard. Some threw paving stones, fireworks, flares and other objects at police, according to AP news agency. They appeared to be outnumbered by police, with 8,000 officers deployed in the capital alone and 89,000 fanned out around the country.
France's far left CGT movement has pledged support for the movement, which is also supported by the far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
"We're asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger", Cauchy told AFP. "Me, I'm not here to break things because I have four children", said protester Myriam Diaz. "Some ultra-violent people want to take part".
In eastern Paris, in Republique Square, protests were more quiet with no incident.
Castaner, the interior minister, said 151 people were arrested in the small town, some carrying weapons.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday evening met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests who have urged people not to join the protests. "We know that the violent people are only strong because they hide themselves within the yellow vests, which hampers the security forces".
Since the unrest began November 17 in response to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents. Anti-government yellow vest rallies also took place in nearby Belgium and the Netherlands.
But to say the demonstrations are against the Paris Agreement is a stretch, and to say the protesters were calling for Trump is a lie.
"People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment".