Tangier is the gateway to Africa. It is usually the first stop along enroute through Morocco and Northern Africa. There are many ways to reach Tangier. From experience traveling there especially from the US it can be very tricky and expensive, but if properly informed it can be cheaper than flying to almost any other international destination. The absolute cheapest and stress free way is to fly to Madrid first and then take Ryan down there from there. If booked ahead of time depending on the season this will usually cost anywhere between $700-1000 for a roundtrip to Madrid and usually about $30-$50 each way to Tangier through Ryan Air. Use Kayak.com to find the fare to Madrid and book about 6 weeks in advance to find the best fare. All Ryan Air tickets can be booked through ryanair.com. Tangier Ibn Battouta is a modern new ISO 9000 airport. Everybody speaks English and is friendly with directions. It’s 1 terminal and simple. One can get a taxi at the airport to almost anywhere in the city center for 100 mad. The airport is roughly 10 km from the city center. Tangier Ibn Battouta offers direct flights to the following European cities as of November 2014: Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Marseille, Gibraltar (starting March 2015), Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London Heathrow/Gatwick, Lisbon, and Brussels.
We do not suggest flying into Casablanca. It will be extremely overwhelming unless one is used to the country and speaks Arabic. If so one will need to purchase a commuter train ticket (no more than 100mad) to get from the airport to the city center. If not in the evening or morning one will need to hire a taxi to take them to the city center train station as the trains do not run in the night or afternoon. From the city center one can purchase a train ticket to Tangier for roughly 150 Mad. This 6 hour journey will be a lot to deal with after traveling internationally. If one rents a car be sure to know not to make a wrong turn into Casablanca. As one from Los Angeles, which known for traffic, Casablanca is 10 times more brutal.
If one is already in southern Spain and plans a day trip or a few days to visit the country the best way is by ferry. FRS is the main ferry line and travels to Tangier. The best and quickest ferries leave out of Tarifa.
Here is the best route for Europeans and Americans. First ,get to Malaga Spain, from either flying or rail. From Malaga one can take a bus to Algeciras. The journey takes a little bit over 2 hours and buses leave 3 times a day. Then one can take a bus from Algeciras to Tarifa. These buses run frequently and the journey is rougly 45min. Click here to view the timetable through July 2015. The Tarifa ferry takes roughly 35 min and is about 35 euro each way. Also there are ferries that leave from Algeciras and Gibraltar, but these are not nearly as frequent and can take close to 2 hours. Even worse these ferries drop off at the port Tanger Med, not Tanger Ville. This means one will need to hire a taxi for a 30min ride into the city from Tanger Med. Tanger Ville Please see the FRS website for more information.
If one is already in Morocco I recommend taking a train first class there. The buses are pretty rough if you are foreign. It’s same with the roads they travel on. Please note though, I do not recommend renting a car and driving there. Some of the most dangerous drivers in the world. Last trip we saw a that fell down a ravine. Also please note, even though Morocco is an Islamic country, many still drink and drive.. The only real safe time to drive is during Ramadan since people avoid alcohol then. There are no DUI check points for the most part. The roads aren’t the most up to date and most don’t follow the traffic regulations regardless. There are some new expressways now that are quite nice. One can get from Casablanca Airport to Tangier in under 4 hours, but it’s not recommended unless you are a highly experienced driver.