These are the (twice) extended notes of a set of lectures given at the ``12th Workshop on Hadronic Interactions'' at the IF/UERJ, Rio de Janeiro (31. 5. - 2. 6. 2000). The lectures aim at introducing essential concepts of instanton physics, with emphasis on the role of instantons in generating tunneling amplitudes, vacuum structure, and the induced quark interactions associated with the axial anomaly. A few examples for the impact of instantons on the physics of hadrons are also mentioned.