Cosmological and astronomical observations give a consistent evidence for the existence of dark matter. New particles, that could account for this non-luminous matter, appear in several theories beyond the standard model of particle physics. Although several hypothetical particle candidates have been proposed, so far dark matter has eluded detection. Direct detection is a promising method to identify the nature of dark matter particles. It enables to probe the existence of WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) via their elastic scattering off target nuclei down to cross sections as low as 1e-48 cm2. Several experimental strategies have been developed to measure the tiny nuclear recoils induced by the interactions of dark matter particles. The talk will review the main experimental techniques and R&D projects as well as the most recent results.