We are a party of 5 (3 older adults/2 college-age adults) and likely booking an airbnb or the like. Reading a bit from RS, he expresses some caution in the Albayzin area at night (with regard to safety). There are a couple apartments in that area I am considering; the price and accommodations are right. That being said, I am wondering if I should be concerned about the area at night. Your thoughts?
We were up there out late after midnight. Crowds of people tend to be out later in Spain than in th USA. You are going to be with your group of 5. But If you were walking around solo in the Albaicin coming from bar inebriated really late then like in any city you could get mugged. I have only read warnings against women walking around solo day or night in Albaicin and Sacramonte in one guidebook.
If you are looking for a place to stay, I recommend Apartamentos Campo Del Príncipe through Booking.com. It is at the bottom of the hill below Alhambra, and the residential neighborhood is very safe. We found Spain to be exceptionally reasonably priced, including rooms, food, etc.
We stayed in an airbnb in the area. We are morning people and usually in by 9. Lots of hills and little streets. Never felt unsafe! Loved Granada....
I am going to say 'it depends'. If the 5 of you are traveling together, anywhere should be fine, but it is a rabbit warren of narrow streets, so you have to plan to walk up and down a lot. There is a bus system that does a route, but you want to take a look at the route and see whether your places are close (when I ask, hosts have always given me the address prior to my confirmed booking). I stayed in the lower area with no concerns. However, a fellow traveler mentioned she felt she and her son were being followed when they got separated from the crowds on their way down from a late night event. Many places are just doors in walls, and not all streets have shops on them to duck into if you feel vulnerable. Physical violence isn't the usual concern.
Street view? how close to where you might want to be? What are the chances your college kids are going to be out later than you? Will they stick to the main artery streets? You need to make decisions from that.
The Albaicín is a fairly large area. Some parts will be very busy even late at night (late for me, anyway), and in those your main risk is being pick-pocketed in the crowds or having a bag carelessly left on the back of a chair stolen. Obviously, it doesn't happen to most visitors and with simple precautions you should be fine - don't leave bags unattended, keep valuables like a wallet in an inside, closed pocket. No need to go overboard with money belts and so on, but if they would make you feel safer then wear one - it's your hols so you want to be relaxed.
Other parts of the area will be largely deserted, dark and, I can understand, a bit creepy - especially if one of your party is walking alone. The actual danger is low, however. Bag snatching does sometimes happen, but anything more violent would be very unusual.
Sacromonte has a slightly more unsavoury reputation, but only really for lone tourists who wander into the hills away from the built-up area. Even then, most suffer no crime. For most tourists the main danger in Sacromonte is being fleeced by locals over-charging for their unofficial cave "show".
Overall, it would be a great shame to avoid staying in these delightful parts of Granada (or visiting after dark), out of an exaggerated fear of ne'er-do-wells.
We will be staying at an apartment near Mirador San Nicolas, with a wonderful terrace view of the Alhambra in the Albaicin in a few days. I know of at least one other poster who's stayed there and said felt perfectly safe. Will post a trip report when we get back!
Thank you all for your responses! Very helpful.
We just spent 3 nights at an apartment near Mirador San Nicolas. Walked around until 11 at night, lit better than expected and felt safe. It was nice to be away from the center of all the bustle, just a bus ride away. Would stay there again.