Recent studies reveal that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to have important regulatory roles in cancer biology, and lncRNA MALAT-1 expression is upregulated in some tumors. However, the contributions of MALAT-1 to bladder cancer metastasis remain largely unknown. In the present study we evaluated MALAT-1 expression in bladder cancer tissues by real-time PCR, and defined its biological functions. We verified that MALAT-1 levels were upregulated in bladder cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues, and MALAT-1 expression was remarkably increased in primary tumors that subsequently metastasized, when compared to those primary tumors that did not metastasize. SiRNA-mediated MALAT-1 silencing impaired in vitro bladder cancer cell migration. Downregulation of MALAT-1 resulted in a decrease of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated ZEB1, ZEB2 and Slug levels, and an increase of E-cadherin levels. We further demonstrated that MALAT-1 promoted EMT by activating Wnt signaling in vitro. These data suggest an important role for MALAT-1 in regulating metastasis of bladder cancer and the potential application of MALAT-1 in bladder cancer therapy.