Interior shot of Bus to Tanger Med ferry port in Tangier
On the bus to Tanger Med ferry port.

The Bus From Tangier to Tanger Med : It Exists

Information about getting to Tanger Med from the city of Tangier in Morocco is hard to come by. That's all this is; not a photography related post.
Ferries at the Tanger Med port
Ferries docked at the Tanger Med port, also called “The New Port”, which is about 40km east of Tangier, Morocco.

Getting to Tanger Med by Bus

There is a bus that runs from the Tangier Ville train station in the city of Tangier to the “Tanger Med” ferry port, contrary to popular belief. I found no information about it in Tangier; it was pure luck that I ran across info about it in a TripAdvisor forum post, so I’ve decided to post a little further information about it here. I hope someone finds it helpful. It does seem to run hourly throughout most of the day. [Last updated on Nov. 30, 2017. Check the comments section for further updates.]

Price

The fare is 7 dirhams! Yes, a mere 70 cents or so. That’s hard to beat for a 40km ride. You pay as you get on the bus; no advance ticket necessary.

What Bus Is It?

The bus is a blue ALSA city bus, number I-3. That’s a capital “i”, not an L or 1. You’ll see it either written as I3 or I-3 on the bus itself, so don’t confuse it with bus 13.

Where To Catch the Bus

You’ll catch this bus at the Tangier Ville train station, just outside the main entrance. According to Ash, who visited in November 2017, the bus stop is now to the west of the train station exit. Turn left as you exit the main doors of the station, and look for the bus stop here:

You may get a better idea of the location by checking out Ash’s photos of the bus stop, below. Thanks Ash!

When I made the trip a year ago, the bus stopped to the right when exiting the train station, and the bus stop seems to be moving because of construction around the station. It may be a good idea to check with the information desk inside the front doors of the station for the current location of the stop. I did so when I took the trip, and the woman at the desk was moderately helpful.

Tanger Med to Tangier Ville by Bus

For the reverse trip, from Tanger Med to Tangier Ville, Sara reports the following:

There’s a white bus stop on the national road 16. When you get out of the port, you have to go straight up the road where the taxis are waiting until you arrive to the main road, don’t cross the road, turn right and walk about 200m, and you’ll find a white bus stop, that’s where the I-3 will stop.

I haven’t made trip in this direction myself, so I can’t substantiate it, but it does sound consistent with what I remember from the Tanger Med port.

Time

The bus seems to run hourly during the day. I showed up at the bus station at 10:00 AM, and the bus arrived at 10:30. I occupied my time in between fending off taxi drivers who were sure that I’d find their taxies much more comfortable than the bus. The ride to Tanger Med took me about 55 minutes. If you take a taxi, they’ll manage it in about 40-45 minutes… though they’ll tell you that it will take them only 15 minutes or 20 minutes while you wait for the bus.

Women on the bus to Tanger Med
On the bus to Tanger Med

About the Bus Ride

The bus ride is just fine: it’s not a luxury coach, it’s just a regular city bus, but they’re new and clean. In my case, most of the other bus passengers were port and ferry workers (there’s a bus stop for employees), but some other ferry passengers, too. It was a fragrant trip, but not intolerable.

The outside of the bus claims that it is “climate controlled”. As far as I can tell, this means that they leave the vent in the top of the bus open… though it may have just been that it was mild weather and nothing else was needed.

A note about the Tanger Med waiting area: it’s called a WiFi Zone, and while I could connect to the network, there was no internet actually available… not even a pay-wall sign in. So make sure you have other data options, if you need it.

Other Options: Train and Taxi

There is supposed to be a train that runs from the Tangier Ville station to the new Tanger Med station twice a day. For me, they were not at convenient times, so I didn’t try it, but the cost was just a few dollars. Once you get to the Tanger Med station, there’s a shuttle that takes you the additional 3km in to the port.

Taxi, though, is by far the most popular way to get to Tanger Med. By USA standards, it’s still very cheap for a trip of that distance… or at least, it can be. You’ll need to use one of the Grand Taxis (beige), not the little blue ones.

If you’re at the train station, the taxi fare should be no more than 200 dirhams to Tanger Med, but like everything in Morocco, you may need to haggle. They may ask for 250 or more, at first. If they don’t come down to 200, just go to the next taxi, or tell them you’re taking the bus for 7 dirhams… that’s a good bargaining chip, and it will bring them down fast. ALWAYS agree on a fare before you get in the taxi. Some taxis may charge you less if you agree to let them pick up and drop off other passengers along the way, though you might as well just take the bus if you’re going to do that.

As I was walking to the bus station, some guy tried to lead me to a taxi instead (as usual). I said, “No, I’m taking the bus.” He responded “But it’s Monday! No bus on Monday! It’s a holiday… you must know this!” I ignored him, and of course, there was no problem. If you’ve been in Morocco for a while, you’ll get used to people lying to you all the time, trying to trick you into one thing or another, but if you’re new to the country, don’t fall for it. Just ignore anyone who isn’t official and who tries to get you to go anywhere.

Updates and Further Information

I made this trip to Tanger Med on the 7th of November, 2016. If you’ve made the trip more recently, please comment below and let us know that the information is still accurate. It has now been accurate for at least one year, so it should be the same for the near future, at least.

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25 Comments

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for providing this resource, it was very useful. I can advise as of November 2017 the location of the pick-up point for the “I3” bus has changed slightly. It has now moved to the western side of the roundabout to an area with a bus slip lane. ( 35.772346,-5.787453 ) . The waiting area for the I3 is on the pedestrian island (easily seen in google maps), and the bus will arrive on the main road side.

    Here is a hastily taken photo looking northwards ( http://i66.tinypic.com/dmfho4.jpg ) . Note the shopping centre on the opposite side of the road for those needing an additional reference point. Another (http://i68.tinypic.com/f44r5d.jpg), note pedestrian island bottom left of pic.

    The bus arrived exactly at 9.30am and it was standing room only. For travellers lucky enough to have a choice of seats, make sure you sit on the left hand side for amazing coastal views.

    For fans of coordinates, here is the exact dropoff location of the bus at Tangier Med 35.882547,-5.500831 .

    • Thanks Ash!

      The photos are very helpful! Can I add them to the article above? For clarity, I’ve edited your post slightly (the bus is I3, not L3… a common confusion). In any case, this is great information… thanks for sharing it!

  • Im still confused with that bus :/ , i will arrive early in the morning to the train station and im planning to catch the first ferry from tanger med to algésiras (8 AM) , do you know what time is the first departure of the bus ? It would be of great help if someone could share with us the Coordinates of the position. peace :D

    • I can’t give you exact coordinates, though you can probably pull them from the map I posted above. It’s simple, though… all of these descriptions may make it more complicated than it needs to be. Just head out of the main front doors of the train station, and walk to the right. It’s right there… you can’t miss it. Just keep an eye on the roundabout to see if the bus pulls up there instead. It stops for a couple of minutes, so there’s not much chance of missing it, even if you’re standing in the wrong place. I don’t know when it starts running int he morning… this seems to be a closely guarded state secret.

  • Thank you all very much for sharing your travel experience.

    Following your blog post, we made a trip from Algeciras to Tangier MED by ferry, Tangier MED to the city of Tangier by the I-3 bus and followed the same way back to Algeciras. Everything is still up to date. We traveled on the 21st of July 2017 (Friday) from Algeciras and on the 23rd of July 2017 (Sunday) from Tangier.

    On Friday our ferry was delayed with about two hours. After we got to Tangier MED and went out the terminal we went straight to the bus stop. Very easy to find. The taxi drivers were following us half way to the bus stop telling us that there was nothing there and we didn’t know where we were going. We ignored them.

    We waited for the bus at the empty white bus stop for about 15 minutes. The bus was almost empty. We paid 7 dirhams each (we were a group of four traveling light) and sat down to enjoy the scenery road. We hopped off the bus at the Tangier Ville train station as this looked to be the last bus stop – everyone got off the bus.

    On Sunday we went to the bus stop and asked an employee of the transportation company that runs these lines how frequent the I-3 bus runs on Sundays. He said it ran every 30 minutes. I’m not sure if this is valid throughout the entire day or just for the next several hours.

    We had a bit of time so we wandered around for a couple of hours and got back to the bus stop. When we got there, there were already a lot of people queueing in front of the I-3 bus’s door. We were afraid that we might not be able to get in. The people weren’t lining up in a normal queue as you’d expect. You might need to push and make sure nobody pushes you out so that you finally get in. If you go to the bus stop a bit earlier than the bus you shouldn’t have big issues securing your seat.

    Our bus trip to Tangier MED took longer than expected because there were a lot of cars on the road. Probably a lot of people go to the beaches on Sundays. If you travel on a Sunday you need to take this into account.

    Thanks again for sharing this information. We had a great time in Tangier.

    Regards,
    Aleks

    P.S. I have some pictures that could be useful to the rest of the travellers

  • Thanks for all the information. My wife and I caught the bus at 8:30 am yesterday. To get to the train station we caught a small green cab and asked him to use the meter which looks like a stereo console down by the stick shift, under the actual stereo console. It was 10 Durhams from the Marchan area to the train station.

    We caught the blue I-3 bus where all the other blue buses were stopping (like the 20 and the I-5). If you look up Tanger Ville Railway Station on Google maps and zoom it I’ll explain where we caught it. If you view the round-about from above and think of it as a clock, the train station is at 6 o’clock and the original poster said to wait at 4 o’clock. We ran over and caught it at the 8 o’clock position. Tell the driver you want off at the ferry. You’ll know you are there after 45 minutes into the journey and after passing a huge port under construction, you come to a huge long building on the sea side of the street with huge numbers across as stated by an earlier poster. Just walk under the 7 and take a left inside. There is an entrance sign in blue letters about 100 yards down and to the right.

    There’s an overpriced snack shop there, but a great place to use up left over Durham. We told ourselves we were going to convert it to euros, but then got lazy. Now we’re wishing we had bought more yogurt, pineapple juice and goodies. When you get to Algeciras, they forbid dairy, meat, fruit and veggies coming in. So we had to eat our fruit before that check point. Hope some of this helps.

    • Thanks for the great info, Justin. I took the ferry overnight to Barcelona instead of the quick trip to Algeciras, and really wished that I had spent my remaining Dirhams on food before I left because the shops and bar on the ferry only accepted Euros (and I didn’t have any yet).

  • Thank you, everything is still up to date, I took it yesterday at 11am, the bus stopped in the turn around where the crowd was. The bus driver made me get off a little bit before the terminus, where u can see a huge building with big blue numbers written on it from 1 to 9, u just walk under the number 7 and u arrive at the boats departure. We left with at least 50 dolphins following us, and I was the only one on the deck to watch them, hahaha.
    220 MAD for the boat + 20 MAD (taxes) + 7 MAD for the bus.
    At 4.30pm (europen time) I was in Algesiras, pretty easy trip, thanks to you :)

    • Thanks for the update Marc! Glad to hear that our info is basically still good. Your departure with the dolphins sounds amazing. I went out on deck as we left port, too, but all I saw was my hands getting cold in the November air :-)

  • I wanted to say thank you for posting this information. We didn’t take the bus, but opted for a taxi to take us from our hotel to take us to Tanger Med. We were 4 people (two adults and two teens) with luggage, so we paid extra for the convenience of being picked up at the hotel door and dropped off at the port. It cost us 250 dirham. I did notice a few bus I-3’s heading back towards Tangier while on our way to Tanger Med.

    Anyways, it’s posts like yours that are super helpful for travelers. It is much appreciated!

    • Hey Barron,
      Thanks :-) Taxis definitely make sense when you have a few people to split the fare with… although, 250 dirhams isn’t really too bad, regardless. I just took a look at your blog, incidentally, and you’ve got some nice shots posted. Well done :-)
      – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the thorough description! Although the bus stopped a little bit differently for me. I took this trip on June 23, 2017 and during that time the Tangier ville station was under construction. The bus didn’t stop at the corner of the street but rather on the round about itself. So for others if you stand exactly where Matthew says and face the Hilton hotel (curved bldg), turn left and head straight until the station building that is under construction is behind you. Basically on the roundabout and the bus will stop there. If you stand where in the other spot you can see the bus but the bus will simply go by you without stopping. I luckily spotted the bus and was able to run and catch it but I didn’t have time to take any pictures of the spot. Thanks again Matthew!

    • Thanks, Ned! They were doing work on the Ville station when I was there, too, but I guess not in a way that affected the bus stop. This is good information… I’m sure others here will find it helpful!

  • Hi Matthew,
    Thank you so much for this very detailed article. It was so helpful during my trip from Morocco to Spain as I was dreading the part Tanger Station -> Tanger Med. Know that this information is still up to date as of today. I asked the driver to warn me when I have to get off the bus to make sure I don’t miss the right spot.
    For those wondering where the bus stops for the opposite journey (from Tanger Med to Tanger Station), there’s a white bus stop on the national road 16. When you get out of the port, you have to go straight up the road where the taxis are waiting until you arrive to the main road, don’t cross the road, turn right and walk about 200m, and you’ll find a white bus stop, that’s where the I-3 will stop.

  • Your suggestions were SO helpful today, April 24, 2017. It worked perfectly. I have three photos of the actual bus stop, if you’d like to include them.

    Thank you so much for this incredible help to weary, anxious travelers.

    • Hey Steve,
      Glad it helped! Posting a picture of the actual bus stop sounds like a good idea. I hadn’t even thought about writing a post like this until I was sitting on the bus, so I missed it myself… but if you’d feel like donating a photo, I’ll happily add it in. Feel free to just email me one or all three of them, at: matthew@lightandmatter.org
      Thanks!
      – Matthew

  • After a day of mass delays and cancelled ferries on our way from Spain to Morocco, we were keen to find anything that could help us for our return trip to Tangier Med. I stumbled across this post, and gained a lot of confidence from reading it.

    I’d like to thank Matthew for sharing this info.

    We travelled back to Spain yesterday (9th April 2017) and all the info is still completely up-to-date.

    We arrived at the station at 9am on a Sunday – a little concerned that the bus may not be running, or running less frequently at the weekend. The I-3 was sitting there when we arrived, we got on and it left about 5 minutes later.

    At the port, we didn’t encounter many people who could speak English, but they were all very friendly and able to guide us with pointing and simple French.

  • Thank you for this post. I took the bus in March, 2017 and it was exactly as you described.

    The bus continues a little further from the main entrance to the passenger terminal. I got off at the right spot as I had been talking with a local who new where to hop off. From there it was a hundred meter walk into the terminal and check-in area.

    I didn’t have any taxi drivers pestering me while waiting the bus. It took it at 18:00 and the bus was full. No vacant seats left after a few stops within Tangier.

    • Thanks for the update, Markku! For me, the bus was mostly empty, as you can see from the photos, but I can certainly imagine that that wouldn’t be the case during busier times of day. Good info.

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