Betulin is a pentacyclic triterpene found in many plant species, among others, in white birch bark. The aim of the study was in vitro characterization of the anticancer activity of betulin in a range of human tumour cell lines (neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma-medulloblastoma, glioma, thyroid, breast, lung and colon carcinoma, leukaemia and multiple myeloma), and in primary tumour cultures isolated from patients (ovarian carcinoma, cervical carcinoma and glioblastoma multiforme). In this study, we demonstrated a remarkable anti-proliferative effect of betulin in all tested tumour cell cultures. Neuroblastoma (SK-N-AS) and colon carcinoma (HT-29) were the most sensitive to the anti-proliferative effect of betulin. Furthermore, betulin altered tumour cells morphology, decreased their motility and induced apoptotic cell death. These findings demonstrate the anti-cancer potential of betulin and suggest that they may be applied as an adjunctive measure in cancer treatment.