The clinical role of magnetic resonance in diseases of the heart and great vessels is rapidly evolving. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has become an established non-invasive imaging modality for the assessment of various cardiac disorders, such as congenital heart disease, cardiac masses, cardiomyopathies, aortic and pericardial diseases. Moreover, due to its accuracy and reproducibility, CMR is currently considered the gold standard for quantification of ventricular volumes, function, and mass. Thus, this technique is ideally suited to assess the efficacy of therapeutic interventions on ventricular hypertrophy and remodelling, which may allow a reduction in sample sise to show clinically relevant effects. Comprehensive functional assessment is possible by CMR due to its capability to measure flow velocity and flow volume, which is a basic requirement to quantify lesion severity in valvular heart disease. Within the past years, major technical advances have considerably improved acquisition speed and image quality making CMR a useful tool for the evaluation of patients with ischaemic heart disease. Although the clinical robustness of coronary magnetic resonance angiography still needs improvement, CMR currently provides valuable information to detect reversible ischemia, myocardial infarction, and residual viability. In this review we will present in detail the wellestablished indications of CMR accompanied by an outlook on new applications that are likely to enter the clinical arena in the near future.