This article offers an extensive survey of results obtained using hybrid photonic-crystal fibers (PCFs) which constitute one of the most active research fields in contemporary fiber optics. The ability to integrate novel and functional materials in solid- and hollow-core PCFs through various postprocessing methods has enabled new directions toward understanding fundamental linear and nonlinear phenomena as well as novel application aspects, within the fields of optoelectronics, material and laser science, remote sensing, and spectroscopy. Here the recent progress in the field of hybrid PCFs is reviewed from scientific and technological perspectives, focusing on how different fluids, solids, and gases can significantly extend the functionality of PCFs. The first part of this review discusses the efforts to develop tunable linear and nonlinear fiber-optic devices using PCFs infiltrated with various liquids, glasses, semiconductors, and metals. The second part concentrates on recent and state-of-the-art advances in the field of gas-filled hollow-core PCFs. Extreme ultrafast gas-based nonlinear optics toward light generation in the extreme wavelength regions of vacuum ultraviolet, pulse propagation, and compression dynamics in both atomic and molecular gases, and novel soliton-plasma interactions are reviewed. A discussion of future prospects and directions is also included.