Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a member of the lipocalin family and the major transport protein of the hydrophobic molecule retinol, also known as vitamin A, in the circulation. Expression of RBP4 is highest in the liver, where most of the body's vitamin A reserves are stored as retinyl esters. For the mobilization of vitamin A from the liver, retinyl esters are hydrolyzed to retinol, which then binds to RBP4 in the hepatocyte. After associating with transthyretin (TTR), the retinol/RBP4/TTR complex is released into the bloodstream and delivers retinol to tissues via binding to specific membrane receptors. So far, two distinct RBP4 receptors have been identified that mediate the uptake of retinol across the cell membrane and, under specific conditions, bi-directional retinol transport. Although most of RBP4's actions depend on its role in retinoid homeostasis, functions independent of retinol transport have been described. In this review, we summarize and discuss the recent findings on the structure, regulation, and functions of RBP4 and lay out the biological relevance of this lipocalin for human diseases.