Recent advances in medicine and biotechnology have prompted the need to develop nanoengineered delivery systems that can encapsulate a wide variety of novel therapeutics such as proteins, chemotherapeutics, and nucleic acids. Moreover, these delivery systems should be “intelligent”, such that they can deliver their payload at a well-defined time, place, or after a specific stimulus. Polymeric multilayer capsules, made by layer-by-layer (LbL) coating of a sacrificial template followed by dissolution of the template, allow the design of microcapsules in aqueous conditions by using simple building blocks and assembly procedures, and provide a previously unmet control over the functionality of the microcapsules. Polymeric multilayer capsules have recently received increased interest from the life science community, and many interesting systems have appeared in the literature with biodegradable components and biospecific functionalities. In this Review we give an overview of the recent breakthroughs in their application for drug delivery.