Nucleosomes and chromatin control eukaryotic genome accessibility and thereby regulate DNA processes, including transcription, replication, and repair. Conformational dynamics within the nucleosome and chromatin structure play a key role in this regulatory function. Structural fluctuations continuously expose internal DNA sequences and nucleosome surfaces, thereby providing transient access for the nuclear machinery. Progress in structural studies of nucleosomes and chromatin has provided detailed insight into local chromatin organization and has set the stage for recent in-depth investigations of the structural dynamics of nucleosomes and chromatin fibers. Here, we discuss the dynamic processes observed in chromatin over different length scales and timescales and review current knowledge about the biophysics of distinct structural transitions.