After five years full of lies, exaggerations and massive hangovers we've had enough: the Shitty Guide calls it quits. We give up. So what the fuck happened?

Ancient history

It all started five years ago when Kata and Benni went on a back-packing journey to find themselves.  After a month of travel they ditched the Lonely Planet and ended up in used-panties shops all over the world.

6 months later they were wandering in Belgrade and trying to shake off a hassling gypsy woman who was following them. There and they had another eureka moment. It wasn’t an apple that hit their head but large portion of liquid coming out of the woman’s mouth. The idea of the Shitty Guide was born.

A spiritual journey into the margins. An odyssey to find the raw, the untouched (not talking about the used panties), the real, the authentic places where no tourist - or sometimes even local - would dare to go.

Once in Antwerp they started writing a ‘shitty’ guide. After a year of wandering around Antwerp’s shittiest places (and 1232 cans of cara pils) The Shitty Guide was a fact. A Microsoft doc was sent into cyberspace, which you could download for free. A guide based upon experiences, lies, assumptions, truths, stories, exaggerations and full of spelling errors. An ode to imperfection.

Shitty Guide 2.0

It was an underground success, 5000 downloads! Soon after the release a group of unemployed nobodies started following Benni around everywhere. They always met at the Groenplaats, right under Ruben’s penis, drinking cara pils. Together they shared a love for shitty places and speed.

Using brain power and sheer will, from a simple .doc the Shitty Guide expanded into a shitty website on the world wide web: the Shitty Guide 2.0. All thanks to the hard work of Simonneke, Krokky and Vinny, who had nothing better to do anyway. An incredible moment in internet history.

From that point on, everyone who Googled ‘drugs Brussels’ or ‘drugs Antwerp’ arrived at our humble little website. No Ricardo, we still don’t know where to fix ketamine, fuck off. Since then, we've had 120.394 unique visitors to the website. On average 1900 unique visitors per month! In total our little website had half a million page views.

Even a mobile app was developed. It never made it to the app store, because of “shitty” in the name, but hey, that’s really not the point is it? 

Together with the help of talented low-lifes such as Anne, Ellen, Sam and Bram we threw some incredible, unforgettable parties and expanded the Shitty Guide. We went on shitty expeditions to discover new territory, but mostly found hang-overs and islands of regret.

Shitty Goes Worldwide

World domination was always the shitty goal. We’ve thought long and hard on our international expansion strategy.

First we took Brussels. Our favorite hellhole! We asked a random, unemployed local on the street to write the guide for us. That random local was Coby, who is now no longer unemployed, she “works” with animals now, but don’t worry, she didn't really change, she still has drugs- and mental issues, anyway thank you for everything Coby.

Due to the huge demand, the next logical step for a Shitty Guide was Kiev, Ukraine. A team of young, dedicated Shitty explorers decided to go there in the middle of the winter and join the war. But we don’t talk about it. We can’t, because we don’t remember anything. It was dark, it was cold, there was vodka and bare fistfights in the snow.  We went to Chernobyl and we tried Tinder there. Gave it ⅕ stars on Tripadvisor, the HBO-series were much better.

After Antwerp, Brussels and Kiev there’s really only one place left: Brasschaat. One of our writers, Freddy, grew up there. His psychologist recommended writing about his trauma’s. The nightmares didn't go away, but the Shitty Guide Brasschaat is something that exists now. Sam Gooris became a life-time fan and Jean Marie Pfaff wears our logo on his collar till the end of his days. Less happy was the ex-mayor, who was forced to react in a newspaper that yes, the cops on Segways were a bad and expensive idea. 

Shitty Tours

Building on the success of the paper guide, Benni and Freddy decided in 2016 to give tours. It was a massive success and we had great time. The owners they loved us, and we loved them back. They were delighted to host the tours, and always greeted us with much hospitality. No doubt: every owner of a brown bar or turkish disco venue or tibetan noodle shop or whatever has A LOT more sense of humor than any stupid fuckin’ yuppie owner of a posh hip coffeebar on the Antwerp south.

But unfortunately time, and also bulliness by this city’s government, took its toll. Already 5 (5!) places of the original Shitty Tour™ closed down since we started. The closing down of these places (Ciné Royale, Café Kiebooms, Café Vogelzang, The Turkish Disco , Tipanan karaoke) is a big loss for cultural heritage of Antwerp. The city is changing.

Shitty <3 Imagoverlagend

The city is changing, and this is the consequence of an active policy of disneyfication and gentrification. One of these policies was the “imagoverlagende taks”. Since 2015 all nightshops, shisha bars, video library, etc in Antwerp had to pay an additional, medieval tax 'cause the city council apparently gets to decide what is nice and what is not. We, at Shitty Guide, were not pleased with this feodal mindset and decided to fight back.

We threw a party Shitty Party 4(000), made an underground nightshop video song, wrote a petition and gathered 400 signatures and even went to protest together with Murad and the other nightshop owners at the city hall. The city graciously accepted our 400 signatures and threw it in the trash when we were not looking. Today, the imagoverlagende taks is still there. Another great achievement by the Shitty Guide.

This is the end, shitty friends, the end 

The Shitty Guide became a victim of its own success. Too many tourists came, looking for shittyness, but making everything less shitty. The whole city nowadays feels like Disneyland on coke. Very soon the city will go the same way as Venice: too many tourists, too many (sunken) cruiseships and too much water.

That’s why we're leaving Antwerp, for good! We shall return to where we came from: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, shit to shit. The goods news: you're invited to join our ship! A 21th century version of Noah's Ark, but with less beastiality and more tolerance for LGBT. Together, we will survive this great flood of shit.

Join us at the final shitty party. And remember. There may be a terrible climate catastrophe ahead, but while there's moonlight and mdma and love and romance: let's face the music and dance.

A big thank you:

- Benni Booi (our spiritual shitty leader) 
- Katarina for coming with the idea of the Shitty Guide 
- Frederik Van den Bril 
- Vincent Peters
- Koray Sels
- Bram Van Bree 
- Simon Peters 
- Sam Van Loon
- Anne Verbist 
- Ellen Anthoni 
- Sven Mes & Liselotte for making the shitty fashion happen
- Lode Uyterschot for believing in the Shitty Guide (LOL) 
- Armand from Café Strange 
- Dylan from In de stad Aalst 
- The Zomsa family 
- Patsi & Tim for hosting the first shitty party at Mu(i)ltatuli
- Stefan en Sabrina van Cafe De Vogelenzang
- The owner of Cinema Royale although you never wanted to talk to us
- Tipanan family (we never got to say goodbye…)
- Stefan van de Turkse Disco 
- The Bivak crew (Lotte, Zoe, ...) for co-organising the first shitty tour
- Jasper Kuylen & the volunteers at ThisisAntwerp magazine we had a barfight with.
- Serge Muyters
- All the Antwerp drug dealers for the 2+1 promo
- Gestapo Knallmuzik
- Johnny Boy 
- The Ukrainian guy who took off his shirt and yelled at Simon “we fight now” 
- Koen Crucke for running the best instagram account in the world
- All the journalists who didn’t have anything better to write about
- That one newspaper photographer who hates his job and got really pissed at us
- Tanguy Otomer for being our arch-rival  for so many years
- All the volunteers at the Shitty Party
- Everyone who came on the Shitty Tours 


Suggest a place ☺

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Shitty Guide paid a visit to the Pompoen Regetta

Kasterlee is a village situated deeply in the Kempen, where people still party in tents and tune their tractors, but the most peculiar thing about this place is their obsession with pumpkins.

Every October the ‘pompoengemeenschap’, a kind of pumpkin illuminati, take over Kasterlee. They have pumpkin weighing contests, sing pumpkin songs, sacrifice virgins to the pumpkin god and organise the already legendary annual ‘Pompoen Regetta’.

Forget about football: this is the real deal. The ‘pompoen regatta’ is a kayak race but instead of using kayaks, teams race in pumpkins. Number 9 on our bucket list, right in between going on a safari at the Beekse Bergen on number 8 and our own Sunday morning Shitty Radio Show on Radio Minerva on number 10.


After months of training at the Galgenweel, we were ready for some action.We took our small Panda car and drove all the way down to Kasterlee. After a half hour drive through the deep forests of the Kempen, we arrived at the ‘Pompoen Regetta’.



When we saw the zillionth pumpkin we knew we were at the right place. Full advantage was taken of every pumpkin. You could even play pumpkin minigolf!



The Smashing Pumpkins cancelled last minute but Paul from the ‘Pompoengemeenschap’ made up for ut with his cover of ‘Losing my Pumpkin’ by R.E.M.



At first we were a bit shocked to see this lady behind the bar. The KKK, seriously?
Actually she didn’t have a clue and was just a member of the Kasterlee Kayak Klub. Ronny, one of the club’s volunteers, registered the club’s name after a rough night at ‘Schlager Café De Kroon’.Spelling was never his best subject in school and a hangover didn’t do him any good. Afterwards they thought it just sounded good and kept it this way. Only in the Kempen!



After drinking some pumpkin beers, it was time for the race. We said hello to the other contestants and wished them the best of luck.



Let the games begin! It was the first time we were sailing in a real pumpkin but if felt like our natural habitat.
We immediately had an advantage over the other teams.The four of us gave our best we could and we ended up first place in our round. But there were still three more rounds to come…


Even the local media was surprised by our results and asked us how we managed to be that fast. We’re not gonna spoil our secret ingredient but we can say it has something to do with a diet of carapils and nightshop samosas.

Now we only had to wait till five o’clock to receive our prize and four tickets to Bobbejaanland. In the meantime we did another walk around the event.


Aside from meeting a lot of woman with a ‘kortpittig kapsel’ we met Tom.



Tom is a member of the Pompoengenootschap and grows pumpkins that weigh over 400kg. He’s a keymember of the Pompoengenootschap and two of his sons are also in the game.

He gave us a small intro to the pumpkin community. Apparently they even have their own pumpkin jurisdiction: if someone gets caught sabotaging someone else’s pumpkin, they can sue him or her.But when we asked how he grows such big pumpkins, he said: “Just grow the goddamn thing! Take a seed and put it in the ground”. Ok Tom if it’s that easy, the battle is on!
After an enlightening conversation with Tom and some more pumpkin beers, it was time for the awards.


But first another pic of the number one pumpkin of the heavy weight pumpkin contest.




We ended up in the fourth place, which really isn’t bad for a first participation. We just missed a spot on stage. Although we just missed a spot on stage, we ate pumpkin soup, carved pumpkins, met people obsessed with pumpkins, drank pumpkin beer and sailed a damn pumpkin! Things couldn’t have been any better. Goodbye Kasterlee and see you next year! #pumpkinregetta4life


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