Guide to Living in Papillion, Nebraska

Ryan Renner - Omaha Real Estate Agent
By: Ryan Renner, Realtor

I have helped many families moving to Omaha. Contact me if you have any questions about the Omaha area or need help buying a home.

Papillion is a fast-growing suburb of Omaha. It’s located south of Omaha in Sarpy County. In 2015, it was ranked 2nd on Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in America list. It is linked to Omaha via 72nd Street, 84th Street, and I-80.

Papillion, Nebraska - Aerial Photo


The city derived its name from a creek flowing through its center. According to local legend, these early French explorers were inspired to name the creek “Papillon” due to the abundance of butterflies they observed along its grassy banks. Over time, the spelling of the name evolved to what we have today – Papillion.

Some out-of-towners struggle to pronounce Papillion. It’s not pronounced like the French word. It’s PA-PILL-YUHN.

Here’s an audio guide…


Papillion has a population of 24,105. That number is deceiving because it only counts the people in the city limits. A lot of Papillion is new subdivisions that haven’t been annexed into the city yet.

It’s the eleventh-largest city in Nebraska. The average income is $95,515, making it one of the wealthiest cities in Nebraska.

Map of Papillion
In full disclosure, the map above does not show the EXACT city limits of Papillion. The city itself is pretty small. The boundaries above show the extraterritorial boundaries of Papillion. People living within that red box usually say they live in Papillion.

Navigating Papillion

There are a few ways to get to Papillion from Omaha and the surrounding areas.

There is no interstate or expressway through Papillion.

Taking 72nd St and 84th St, otherwise known as Washington St, will allow you to access all the main roads that run east and west.

Highway 370 is one of the most efficient ways to travel east and west. It has stoplights about once per mile. To the east, it will take you to Bellevue and Offut Air Force Base. Traveling west will allow you to connect to Interstate 80 and eventually Gretna.


Depending on where you work, Papillion can be a little tricky regarding commute times.

The major issue with Papillion is traveling north and south. No major interstates or expressways near Papillion run in that direction.

During morning rush hour, most people leaving Papillion are heading north towards Omaha for work. And south in the evening.

Papillion water tower with Highway 370 in the background
Papillion water tower along Highway 370

Commuters often use 72nd and 84th St. Unfortunately, these streets have stoplights and can get backed up during rush hour. Some will use Kennedy Freeway (Highway 75), but that route is also prone to congestion and accidents.

Expect at least a 30-minute commute if you are working downtown.

On the bright side, your commute is very manageable if you work at Offutt Air Force Base.

If you live on the western side of Papillion, commuting to Lincoln is pretty fast.

Public transportation, on the other hand, is pretty dismal in Papillion. There is one route, Route 93, that operates in the area. Residents with a disability or disabling health condition may qualify for the MOBY bus service.

Sample Commute Times

Papillion to Downtown – 20 to 35 minutes
Papillion to Midtown – 20 to 35 minutes
Papillion to Elkhorn – 25 to 45 minutes
Papillion to Gretna – 15 to 25 minutes
Papillion to Bennington – 35 to 50 minutes
Papillion to Offutt Air Force Base – 10 to 20 minutes
Papillion to Lincoln – 50 to 70 minutes

If you still have questions about commuting, visit our Omaha traffic page.


Papillion shares a public school system with the neighboring town, La Vista.

Papillion-La Vista Community Schools serves over 12,000 students. It has 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools.

Papillion La Vista South High School
Papillion La Vista South High School ranks the Papillion-La Vista Community Schools as one of the top school districts in the state.

Private school options are pretty limited in Papillion. One option is St. Columbkille Catholic School, which offers a K-8 education.

Buying a Home

Expect to pay at least $300k (although 10% of homes sold in Papillion in 2022 were less than that).

The median price for a home in 2022 is $400k.

Papillion has a great variety of homes and neighborhoods to choose from.

Photo of Ranch Home in Papillion, Nebraska
This large 3,200-square-foot ranch home sold for $393,000 in late 2021.

If you are looking for an older, established neighborhood, you have options. If you are looking for a newer home or new construction, there is much to choose from.

In 2022, 75% of the homes sold in Papillion were built after 2007, with 50% being built in the last 2 years.

Glenwood Hills Neighborhood Overlooking Shadow Lake in Papillion
Glenwood Hills Neighborhood Overlooking Shadow Lake in Papillion

As you can see, Papillion has had an enormous population explosion in the past 15 years.

Visit my other site for a complete list of Papillion homes for sale.


There are quite a few apartment complexes in the Papillion area. Many of these are less than 10 years old.

As of November 2023, the average rent in Papillion was approximately $1,165 per month. Obviously, rents can vary quite a bit depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property​​.

The rental market in Papillion is quite active, with a diverse selection of properties available. You can find luxury bungalows on Prairie Queen Lake starting at $1300.

The Apartments at Lux 96 have some amazing amenities, including two-resort style pools, a golf simulator, a co-working space, and more.

Other places you might want to consider include The Venue at Werner Park Apartments, Axis, and Shadow Lake Square.

Check out for a list of your rental options.

Hospitals and Healthcare

The main hospital in Papillion is CHI Health Midlands. Family Hospital is another option.

CHI Health Midlands Hospital in Papillion, Nebraka
CHI Health Midlands

There are a lot of clinics, dentists, and other doctors throughout Papillion. You should be able to find most medical providers within a 10-minute drive from home.

Things To Do

Check out a page I created dedicated to things to do in Papillion.

Below are some of the options discussed on that page.


Werner Park is home to the only professional sports teams in the area. It’s home to two teams. The Storm Chasers are a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and Union Omaha is a Division III soccer club.

Aerial View of Werner Park in Papillion, Nebraska. Home of Omaha Storm Chasers Minor League Baseball Team
Werner Park – Home of the Omaha Storm Chasers

Papio Bowl and Papio Fun Park, located near downtown Papillion, are two popular family-friendly activities.

If you want to catch a movie, head to the Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue or the Alamo Drafthouse in La Vista.

Papillion Landing

Papillion Landing is a massive community center offering a ton of activities for all age groups. It features an indoor water park complete with a leisure pool, lazy river, water slides, and an activity pool.

Aerial View of Papillion Landing including Soccer, Baseball, and Softball Fields

Fitness enthusiasts can benefit from its state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The center also features a gym with basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts, a natatorium (pool) with distinct swim schedules, child care services, and a 55+ Club for active adults.

Papillion Landing Community Center
Papillion Landing

There’s even a Digital Library and Interactive Lab primarily for teen and youth use. 

Finally, outdoor amenities include a synthetic turf soccer/football/lacrosse field, and a baseball/softball complex.


If you are a foodie, Papillion may be a disappointment.

Most of the restaurant options will be national and regional chains.

You have to travel a few miles into Omaha for more unique options.

Smaller local chains in Papillion to consider include Ollie & Hobbes, Ika San Ramen, and La Mesa.

Some notable chains include Spin Neapolitan Pizza and Texas Roadhouse, both highly recommended for their family-friendly atmosphere and takeout service. Papillion is also home to Nebraska’s first On The Border.

Parks & Recreation

Papillion is known for their amazing parks and recreation system. They have 23 different parks within a ten-mile radius.

Big Elk Lake Recreation Area and Halleck Park have beautiful lakes you can walk through. Halleck Park’s Arboretum also has a lot of beautiful trees and scenery. Papillion has multiple trails for cyclists, runners, or families simply looking to go on a walk.

Big Elk Lake Recreation Area

The Papio Bay Aquatic Center is very popular during the summer. Papillion Days tends to be one of the biggest events in the Omaha Metropolitan Area each year. Finally, you can find several events going on at Sumtur Amphitheater.

SumTur Amphitheater
Sumtur Amphitheater

The city operates two public golf courses – Tara Hills and Eagle Hills.


Shadow Lake Town Center is a large outdoor shopping mall off Highway 370 and 72nd St. It has numerous restaurants and stores, such as JCPenney, Old Navy, Ulta, Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion, Nebraska

If you are looking for a local shop, downtown Papillion is a popular destination.

City Services

The mayor of Papillion is David Black. Papillion has a city council with eight members that make up four wards. The city provides a New Resident Guide on its website.

Water/Sewer: City of Papillion
Gas: Black Hills Energy
Electricity: OPPD

Frequently Asked Questions

Papillion is about 10 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska. The driving distance between the two cities can vary depending on where you want to go. If you are driving to downtown, it can take 15-25 minutes depending on traffic.

Election starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick, was filmed at Papillion-La Vista Senior High School. The director, Alexander Payne, is from Omaha and frequently shoots his movies in the area.

Papillion is in Sarpy County.