Denmark - and especially Copenhagen - is currently enjoying something of a metamorphosis from the quaint and cosy to a more cosmopolitan image. Galleries are growing extensions, restaurants rank high for gourmet excellence and minimalist cafs are popping up everywhere.

The effortless ease of Scandinavian architecture with its emphasis on the functional has an important part to play in modern-day Denmark. The same goes for the Nation's venerable traditions in design and sculpture - whether you are exploring the choicest of Danish ceramics in Middelfart or Copenhagen, the history of Danish glassware in Ebeltoft or viewing Danish furniture design near Kolding.

Design & furniture
Design freaks make pilgrimages to the country to tread in the footsteps of the great Danish architects of the last century such as Arne Jacobsen and Jørn Utzon - or to visit the many specialist showrooms and auction houses offering original pieces by icons such as Poul Kjærholm, Hans J. Wegner and Børge Mogensen.

Furniture design can also be enjoyed as part and parcel of the cityscape at the many cafs and restaurants - and downing beer straight from the bottle may well be forgiven as long as it is done in the seat of an Arne Jacobsen chair!

Cafes and restaurants
Modern minimalist cafes are found throughout the country, but the most nose-catching new trend is the number of coffee bars that are popping up on almost every street corner.

These coffee bars use only first-class quality beans - so, follow your nose to a refreshing break in your busy sightseeing schedule. Restaurants are changing too - creating their own blend of Nordic cuisine and using only the finest Danish produce.

Danish fashion & shopping
As a concept "Danish Design" has come to the fore in few years. More and more Danish fashion designers have made a name for themselves both within and beyond the country's borders.

Instead of chasing the trends in the fashion meccas of Paris, London or Milan, a new generation of garment creators is cultivating national hallmarks and evolving a distinctive Nordic style.

Design as far as the eye can see
Clothes-shopping represents just one of the many opportunities in the Danish cities of Århus, Odense, Aalborg and, of course, Copenhagen.

In these cities it would be impossible not to run into famous Danish designs such as Bang & Olufsen, LEGO, Fritz Hansen Furniture and the award-winning titanium eyewear from Lindberg Optic - one of the biggest success stories in Danish Design in recent times.

Also deserving mention here would be the royal Danish porcelain and Danish silver, best represented by Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen, but also eminent among the little jeweller's shops to be found on the narrow side streets of the Danish cities and towns.

Music and nightlife
The Danes love music - right from the big open-air festivals to the intimate venues offering all the genres - jazz, blues, folk, salsa, modern pop and rock. If you venture out into Denmark's nightlife, there's every chance you'll come across some live music.

Along with the recent blossoming of trend-setting cafes and restaurants, a whole raft of new bars have also popped up, many of them offering club culture or a disco. So just step out into Danish nightlife - and don't forget that the Danes themselves only really get down to partying after midnight and don't stop till dawn!