Autophagy is the major cellular pathway to degrade dysfunctional organelles and protein aggregates. Autophagy is particularly important in neurons, which are terminally differentiated cells that must last the lifetime of the organism. There are both constitutive and stress-induced pathways for autophagy in neurons, which catalyze the turnover of aged or damaged mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, other cellular organelles, and aggregated proteins. These pathways are required in neurodevelopment as well as in the maintenance of neuronal homeostasis. Here we review the core components of the pathway for autophagosome biogenesis, as well as the cell biology of bulk and selective autophagy in neurons. Finally, we discuss the role of autophagy in neuronal development, homeostasis, and aging and the links between deficits in autophagy and neurodegeneration.