Photorefractivity has attracted intense attention owing to its ability to spatially modulate the refractive index under non-uniform light illumination. In particular, photorefractive polymers are appealing materials as they enable the high non-linear performance that underpins many areas of photonics. The incorporation of nanoparticles into photorefractive polymers shows an enormous potential owing to the broad spectroscopic tuning range and the high photogeneration efficiency, which are inaccessible to traditional photorefractive materials. This article reviews the recent developments in the field of nanoparticle-doped photorefractive polymers. The merit and functionality of these hybrid materials are summarized and future challenges are discussed. The application of nanoparticle-doped photorefractive polymers under two-photon excitation is also described, which facilitates a promising new area of high-density optical data storage, the third-generation of optical data storage.