Vesicle flow within the cell is responsible for the dynamic maintenance of and communication between intracellular compartments. In addition, vesicular transport is crucial for communication between the cell and its surrounding environment. The ability of a vesicle to recognise and fuse with an appropriate compartment or vesicle is determined by its protein and lipid composition as well as by proteins in the cytosol. SNARE proteins present on both vesicle as well as target organelle membranes provide one component necessary for the process of membrane fusion. While in mammalian cells the main focus of interest about SNARE function has centred on those involved in exocytosis, recent data on SNAREs involved in intracellular membrane-trafficking steps have provided a deeper insight into the properties of these proteins. We take, as an example, the promiscuous SNARE syntaxin 6, a SNARE involved in multiple membrane fusion events. The properties of syntaxin 6 reveal similarities but also differences in the behaviour of intracellular SNAREs and the highly specialised exocytotic SNARE molecules.