Republican and anti-racist groups organised several events on the eve of the third anniversary of the attacks on offices of the French magazine and nearby sites to honour the memory of the 17 killed.
French President Emmanuel Macron led a sombre tribute on Sunday to the 17 victims of attacks in Paris three years ago that marked the first of a wave of deadly assaults in France.
During a three-day killing spree in January 2015, gunmen killed reporters and illustrators at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, police officers and shoppers at a Jewish supermarket.
Sunday's commemoration started at the former premises of Charlie Hebdo, where two brothers armed with assault rifles shot and killed 11, including most of the notoriously irreverent publication's cartoonists and writers.
The names of the victims were read out before wreathes were laid in front of the office building, including one by Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Homage was then paid at the nearby site where a policeman was shot dead at point-blank range by one of the gunmen.
A similar tribute was later held at the kosher store where a third gunman killed four people.
The Charlie Hebdo attack was carried out by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, who died in a police assault two days later.
The perpetrator of the attack on the Jewish store, Amedy Coulibaly, also shot dead a policewoman in a separate incident. Coulbaly was also killed by police