At the cloud top level of Venus (65-70 km altitude) the atmosphere rotates 60 times faster than the underlying surface—a phenomenon known as superrotation1,2. Whereas on Venus's dayside the cloud top motions are well determined3,4,5,6 and Venus general circulation models predict the mean zonal flow at the upper clouds to be similar on both the day and nightside2, the nightside circulation remains poorly studied except for the polar region7,8. Here, we report global measurements of the nightside circulation at the upper cloud level. We tracked individual features in thermal emission images at 3.8 and 5.0 μm obtained between 2006 and 2008 by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer-Mapper onboard Venus Express and in 2015 by ground-based measurements with the Medium-Resolution 0.8-5.5 Micron Spectrograph and Imager at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Infrared Telescope Facility. The zonal motions range from -110 to -60 m s-1, which is consistent with those found for the dayside but with larger dispersion6. Slow motions (-50 to -20 m s-1) were also found and remain unexplained. In addition, abundant stationary wave patterns with zonal speeds from -10 to +10 m s-1 dominate the night upper clouds and concentrate over the regions of higher surface elevation.