Within the past few years, chitosan-based drug delivery vehicles have become some of the most attractive to be studied. In contrast to all other polysaccharides, chitosan has demonstrated its unique characteristics for drug delivery platforms, including its active primary amino groups for chemical modification, simple and mild preparation methods for the encapsulation of biomolecules or drugs, mucoadhesion to facilitate transport across mucosal barriers and so on. In this review, an overview of the various types of chitosan-based drug delivery systems is provided, with special focus on polymeric drug conjugates and drug nanocarriers. The first part of the review is concerned with the development and applications of polymeric chitosan-drug conjugates. Then the chitosan-based nanocarrier systems as well as their preparation methods and applications are further discussed.