Viruses, as a class of pathogenic microbe, remain a significant health burden globally. Viral infections result in significant morbidity and mortality annually and many remain in need of novel vaccine and anti-viral strategies. The development of effective novel anti-viral therapeutics, in particular, requires detailed understanding of the mechanism of viral infection, and the host response, including the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. In recent years, the role of glycans and lectins in pathogen-host interactions has become an increasingly relevant issue. This review focuses on the interactions between a specific lectin family, galectins, and the broad range of viral infections in which they play a role. Discussed are the diverse activities that galectins play in interacting directly with virions or the cells they infect, to promote or inhibit viral infection. In addition we describe how galectin expression is regulated both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally by viral infections. We also compare the contribution of known galectin-mediated immune modulation, across a range of innate and adaptive immune anti-viral responses, to the outcome of viral infections.