Characterised by high intra‐ and inter‐tumor heterogeneity, metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is resistant to chemo‐ and radiotherapy. Therefore, the development of new prognostic and diagnostic markers for RCC patients is needed. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small population of neoplastic cells within a tumor which present characteristics reminiscent of normal stem cells. CSCs are characterised by unlimited cell division, maintenance of the stem cell pool (self‐renewal), and capability to give rise to all cell types within a tumor; and contribute to metastasis in vivo (tumourigenicity), treatment resistance and recurrence. So far, many studies have tried to establish unique biomarkers to identify CSC populations in RCC. At the same time, different approaches have been developed with the aim to isolate CSCs. Consequently, several markers were found to be specifically expressed in CSCs and cancer stem‐like cells derived from RCC such as CD105, ALDH1, OCT4, CD133, and CXCR4. However, the contribution of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and tumor microenvironment, to cellular plasticity have made the discovery of unique biomarkers a very difficult task. In fact, contrasting results regarding the applicability of such markers to the isolation of renal CSCs have been reported in the literature. Therefore, a better understanding of the mechanism underlying CSC may help dissecting tumor heterogeneity and drug treatment efficiency.