The present knowledge of the structure of low-mass X-ray binary systems is reviewed. We examine the orbital period distribution of these sources and discuss how the orbital periods are measured. There is substantial observational evidence that the accretion disks in low-mass X-ray binaries are thick and structured. In a number of highly inclined systems, the compact X-ray emitting star is hidden from direct view by the disk and X-radiation is observed from these only because photons are scattered into the line of sight by material above and below the disk plane. In such systems the X-ray emission can appear extended with respect to the companion star, which can lead to partial X-ray eclipses. There are substantial variations in the thickness of the disk rim with azimuth. These give rise to the phenomenon of irregular dips in the X-ray flux which recur with the orbital period, or to an overall binary modulation of the X-ray flux if the source is “extended”. The X-ray spectra of low-mass X-ray binaries can be used to probe the innermost emission regions surrounding the compact star. The spectra of the bright “Sco X-1” variables can be fitted with two components which are provisionally identified as originating in the inner disk and the boundary layer between the disk and the neutron star respectively. The characteristic energy dependent flaring of the “Sco X-1” sub-class may be a geometric effect triggered by an increase in the thickness of the inner disk or boundary layer. The X-ray spectra of the lower luminosity systems, including the bursters, are less complex, and in many cases can be represented by a single power law with, in some sources, a high energy cut-off. Iron line emission is a characteristic of most low-mass X-ray binaries, irrespective of luminosity.