The press in Riga isn’t cold. It is a misconception thought by many including myself that Latvia is basically Russia.
While there were periods of Russian occupation, Latvia has been and throughout its history regarded itself to be independent. Telling of its ties to Europe and not Russia is the 3 euro cost for a double espresso. In January 2014, Latvia officially adopted the euro as its currency further marking it’s integration into the European Union.
Another interesting tidbit of information is that Latvia has one of the fastest Internet download and upload speeds in the world. Nothing says Western ideology than Wi-Fi.
And for the final point further proving the atmosphere is far from icy is the architecture. The old town has cobbled streets and quaint buildings that resemble Prague not Putin making it a worthwhile place to visit, even if only for a couple of days.