France's outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) shakes hands with newly-elected President Francois Hollande on the steps of the Elysee Palace at the handover ceremony in Paris May 15, 2012. (Image: Reuters)
Hollande is the first socialist leader of France since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.
Hollande, 57, was elected to a five-year term in an election earlier this month, after voters ousted incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after only one term.
Following the ceremony Hollande is due to leave for Berlin, where he meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a critical meeting on austerity and growth in Europe.
Hollande arrived at the 18th-century palace that is the traditional residence of French presidents at 10:00 a.m., where he was greeted by outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy on the Elysee's red-carpeted steps.
Following a forty minute private meeting with Sarkozy, Hollande was declared president after the head of the constitutional court read out the final results of the May 6 election.