Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) serve as the gateway of the cell nucleus. These macromolecular assemblies form selective aqueous translocation channels permitting the free diffusion of small molecules, as well as receptor-mediated transport of large cargoes. Over the past decade, major progress has been made in both the structural determination of individual nucleoporins and subcomplexes by X-ray crystallography and in the structural analysis of the entire NPC by cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). The metazoan NPC structure from Xenopus laevis oocytes was recently resolved up to 20 Å by combining cryo-ET with advanced image processing techniques, revealing for the first time the architecture of the central channel. Here, we discuss the structure of the Xenopus laevis NPC and consider future perspectives that will eventually allow reconstructing the scaffold and gate of the NPC with higher resolution and identifying its transport-relevant regions. This will eventually allow us to describe the structure of the NPC 'in action'.