Using a number of different conventional observing methods of astronomy like spectrophotometry, polarimetry, IR-radiometry and UBV-photometry, physical properties of asteroids can be derived, such as diameters, spectral reflectivity and albedo. Based on observable parameters a classification in terms of taxonomic types can be made and the mineralogy of the surface can be determined and compared with meteoritic analogues. UBV-photometry at different phase angles can reveal something about surface properties and diameters, whereas from accurate photometry during different phases of the rotational cycles we are able to derive rotation periods, geometric irregularities of the asteroid-body and topographic features on the surface. If observations of lightcurves are obtained during several oppositions at different ecliptic positions, the orientation of the spin axis in space and sometimes the sense of rotation can be derived. Observations of asteroids are especially well suited to small and medium-sized telescopes, as most of the programmes need long telescope runs. In addition there is a definite need for a large number of observations of asteroids in the magnitude range 12–15 mag.