Fluorescence-based sensors play a fundamental role in biological research. These sensors can be based on fluorescent proteins, fluorescent probes or they can be hybrid systems. The availability of a very large dataset of fluorescent molecules, both genetically encoded and synthetically produced, together with the structural insights on many sensing domains, allowed to rationally design a high variety of sensors, capable of monitoring both molecular and global changes in living cells or in in vitro systems. The advancements in the fluorescence-imaging field helped researchers to obtain a deeper understanding of how and where specific changes occur in a cell or in vitro by combining the readout of the fluorescent sensors with the spatial information provided by fluorescent microscopy techniques. In this review we give an overview of the state of the art in the field of fluorescent biosensors and fluorescence imaging techniques, and eventually guide the reader through the choice of the best combination of fluorescent tools and techniques to answer specific biological questions. We particularly focus on sensors for probing the bioenergetics and physicochemical status of the cell.