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Most non-African visitors arrive in Tangier via the ferry from Spain.
The ferry from Algeciras, Spain, leaves every 90 minutes or so. Some lucky fellows say that the journey will take a little over an hour. Count on double that just buyng the tickets and waiting for the ferry. Perhaps it's best to count for at least 5 hours between the arrival at the Algeciras port and getting out of customs in Tangier, as factors like not being able to cope with the confusion at the ticket booths and ending up in a slow boat, badly shaped cars stopping when they are leaving the ferry and so happen easily.Some, if not all of the ferry companies have websites where it's supposed you can buy a ticket. Then, it is not clear there are reserved seats for those tickets, as things on the port seems to work simply "buy any ticket, put yourself on the line and wait for your turn to enter the boat".
The ferries from Tarifa are quicker (35 min, they say) because the distance is shorter and only fast boats operate this route (FRS http://www.frs.es/). In 2006, FRS didn't take cars during Summer, only passengers.
There are also ferries from Gibraltar, but they are much less frequent (normally less than one per day).
If you are flying in, arrive at the Tangier Ibn Batouta, also konow as Boukhalef Souahel, Airport (TNG). From there it is easy enough to grab a taxi for the less than 11 Km ride into the city center, which typically takes 20 minutes.
You can also access Tangier by train, arriving at either the Tanger Ville or Tanger Morora station. Both are on the outskirts of the city, so plan to grab a taxi upon arrival. If you are traveling in from Europe, consider buying a couchette ticket and making it an overnight trip, which is more comfortable and less expensive than a first class ticket.
There are also two long-distance bus stations in Tangier, one at the CTM offices near the port and the other on Place Jamia el-Arabia. While extremely affordable, the busses can be unreliable, crowded, and hot.