© 2016 – IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Bladder cancer is a molecularly heterogeneous disease characterized by multiple unmet needs in the realm of diagnosis, clinical staging, monitoring and therapy. There is an urgent need to develop precision medicine for advanced urothelial carcinoma. Given the difficulty of serial analyses of metastatic tumor tissue to identify resistance and new therapeutic targets, development of non-invasive monitoring using circulating molecular biomarkers is critically important. Although the development of circulating biomarkers for the management of bladder cancer is in its infancy and may currently suffer from lower sensitivity of detection, they have inherent advantages owing to non-invasiveness. Additionally, circulating molecular alterations may capture tumor heterogeneity without the sampling bias of tissue biopsy. This review describes the accumulating data to support further development of circulating biomarkers including circulating tumor cells, cell-free circulating tumor (ct)-DNA, RNA, micro-RNA and proteomics to improve the management of bladder cancer.