The respiratory tract, and the nose in particular, offers opportunities for improved drug delivery. Many drugs are rapidly and efficiently absorbed from the nasal cavity and, as a result, the nasal route may be used in crisis treatments (for example, for pain and nausea). Polar drugs, such as peptides and proteins, are not well absorbed across the nasal mucosa, unless they are delivered with an absorption enhancing material. Agents, such as the polysaccharide chitosan, that are able to open tight junctions between cells can offer important opportunities. The nasal route can also be used for the delivery of vaccines. This review makes a comparison between nasal and pulmonary delivery.