The pineal region can harbor highly diverse histologic tumor subtypes. Because optimal therapeutic strategies vary with tumor type, an accurate diagnosis is the foundation of enlightened management decisions. Either stereotactic biopsy or open surgery is essential for securing tissue for pathologic examination. Biopsy has the advantage of ease and minimal invasiveness but is associated with more sampling errors than open surgery. The emergence of endoscopic techniques and stereotactic radiosurgery provide complementary options to improve pineal tumor management, and will assume greater importance in the neurosurgeon’s armamentarium.