A visit to Foynes Flying Boat Museum is one of the more unique things to do in Limerick.
The birthplace of Irish coffee (more on that later!), the Foynes Museum has something to offer young and old alike.
Below, you’ll find info on the Maritime Museum and the Aviation Museum to the very popular Irish Coffee Lounge.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Foynes Flying Boat Museum
Although a visit to the Foynes Museum is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
The Foynes Museum is located in the heart of the town of Foynes on the banks of the River Shannon. It’s a 20-minute drive from Newcastle West, a 25-minute drive from Adare and a 45-minute drive from Limerick City.
2. Opening hours
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00 with last admission 1 hour before close.
A ticket to the museum costs €8 for adults, € for senior citizens and students and € for children under 14. Kids under the age of 5 go free (note: prices may change).
4. The birthplace of Irish coffee
The story goes that Irish coffee was invented at Foynes in 1943 when a chef named Joe Sheridan was at the helm. The story goes that a flight destined for NYC had to return to Foynes due to poor conditions. Sheridan, who was made aware of their impending return, decided to knock up a hot drink that’d re-energise passengers. He added some Irish whiskey to coffee and the rest is history.
About the Foynes Museum
The town of Foyne is arguably best known for its deep water seaport which is operated by the folks at the Shannon Foynes Port Company.
This is the second largest port in Ireland and, while this is impressive, it’s the towns aviation history that really draws our interest.
During World War II, Foynes became one of the largest civilian airports in Europe, which is a little bit nuts when you think about it!
The town became the last port of call for many seaplanes. In 1935, the building of a terminal was kicked-off and the first flights left Foynes on July 5th, 1937.
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum & Maritime Museum was opened in 1989 to celebrate Foynes rich maritime and aviation history.
Over the last 33 years, the museum has gone from strength-to-strength and has become one of the most popular attractions in Limerick.
Things to do at the Foynes Museum
There’s plenty to see and do at the Foynes Museum, with a bit of something to pique the interests of most. Here’s a sense of what’s on offer:
1. The Aviation Museum
It’s inside the Aviation Museum that you’ll get the chance to travel back to a time when Foynes played a fundamental role in the early aviation years.
You’ll learn about the many passengers who flew from Europe to America in the 1930’s and explore the collection of ancient memorabilia.
It’s also home to the only B314 flying boat replica in the world along with a B314 flight simulator.
2. The Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum showcases the importance of Foynes port throughout the years. You’ll get an insight into the different weather conditions and how they affect sailings while checking real time weather and tides.
You can also board a paddle steamer cabin and watch a presentation on the role that the Shannon River had on the development of this area or check out an exhibition that hosts a vast display of commercial and leisure boats.
3. The Irish Coffee Lounge
Yes, it’s time for Irish coffee! It’s inside the Irish Coffee Lounge that the now-famous Irish coffee is said to have been first created.
It’s here that you can try the original recipe before or after having a nosey around the museum.
Things to do near the Foynes Boat Museum
One of the beauties of the Foynes Boat Museum is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Limerick.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Foynes!
1. Foynes Wood Park (1-minute drive)
Foynes Wood Park is a short spin from the museum and it’s home to several walking trails to tip along. This is great spot for a bit of fresh air after you’ve explored the museum.
2. Curraghchase Forest Park (15-minute drive)
3. Adare Village (25-minute drive)
FAQs about the Foynes Museum
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it worth visiting?’ to ‘How much are tickets?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Foynes Flying Boat Museum worth visiting?
Yes! The Aviation and Maritime museums are well worth a look around if you’re a fan of history and you can grab an Irish coffee from where it was invented, too!
What is there to do at Foynes Museum?
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum is home to an Aviation museum and a Maritime museum which boast interactive experiences, exhibitions and heaps of history.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).